Watch as the drought progresses from January 2011 to October 2014 with this animated gif.

You can pause the gif and explore it frame by frame on our story, "High Temps Intensified California Drought"

It’s been a while since we checked in with the U.S. Drought Monitor. This week’s map shows nearly 60% of the state is in “exceptional drought” which is the most severe measure on the scale. 

See the full report. 

"How badly is the California drought affecting hydroelectricity generation? This badly," tweeted @PeterGleick

Shasta Lake, August 2014. (Photo by Dan Brekke/KQED)

Valley Public Radio is doing something very cool tomorrow. They’re hosting a Drought ArtHop show in Fresno featuring some fantastic multimedia coverage of how the drought is affecting central valley communities. More details. 

If you’re not following Valley Public Radio’s Voices of the Drought Tumblr, you should. It is the bomb-dot-com!

Do you think California’s drought is a “problem?” A “big problem?” Think the state should spend $7.5 billion on water projects that voters will either approve or kill in November?

Measure your opinions against the latest polling:
Drought Rallies Support for California Water Projects

The Sept. 22 footprint of the King Fire overlaid on a map of the Bay Area. (Dan Brekke/KQED)
Read more:  How Do You Say How Big a Really Big Fire Is?

The Sept. 22 footprint of the King Fire overlaid on a map of the Bay Area. (Dan Brekke/KQED)

Read more:  How Do You Say How Big a Really Big Fire Is?

Why More Trees in the Sierra Mean Less Water for California

With California’s reservoir levels dropping, just about everyone is wishing the state had gotten more water this year. That doesn’t just depend on the weather, according to a team of scientists. Sierra Nevada forests play a big role in the state’s water supply.

Just like crops, trees consume water. And Sierra Nevada forests are denser than they once were after decades of fire suppression. That could be reducing the amount of runoff coming from the snowpack — runoff that provides water for most of the state.

Read more from KQED Science —>