That’s because the drought’s toll has had a disproportionate impact to the agricultural sector in particular. A recent survey by the U.S. Forest Service estimates that 12.5 million trees have died as a result of the drought. Livestock, cows in particular, are being affected as the grass they’re used to grazing on dries up. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it takes 150 gallons of water to make a 1/3-pound hamburger.
Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson’s aerial photographs of California’s Central Valley show the stark contrast in the amount of lush vegetation to dried grass and brittle trees next to them.