ENVIRONMENT

Undeniable Proof That The California Drought Is A Big Deal

With major wildfires burning six at a time, more than half of California now experiencing the most severe category of dryness and experts warning that even an El Niño year won’t be enough to redeem the west in 2015, residents of California and beyond must face the terrifying reality that the drought probably isn’t done breaking records -- and it’s not something just farmers and firefighters have to face.

The Huffington Post asked readers to share photos through the hashtag #OurDroughtIsReal to show how the drought is affecting them in their own backyards, literally. Here are some of the heartbreaking photos and stories you shared. Tweet @HuffPostGreen or use the hashtag if you have your own photo to share.

  • At Beal's Point on Folsom Lake in Northern California the water has almost disappeared. We are in the midst of a severe droug
    At Beal's Point on Folsom Lake in Northern California the water has almost disappeared. We are in the midst of a severe drought and for much of the Sacramento area this is it's water source. Edit: Since writing this 12 days ago, we've had major fires near Yosemite Park and the 4000 acre Sand Fire east of Sacramento.
  • Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 13, 2014.
    Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 13, 2014.
  • We may be going through a stretch of beautiful January weather right now in California, but our rivers, lakes and streams are
    We may be going through a stretch of beautiful January weather right now in California, but our rivers, lakes and streams are quickly drying up... not good. #OurDroughtIsReal
  • California Drought: Ducks and Geese in East Jesus
    California Drought: Ducks and Geese in East Jesus
  • This empty picnic table which looks out over Folsom Dam in Northern California is indicative of the dearth of visitors. This
    This empty picnic table which looks out over Folsom Dam in Northern California is indicative of the dearth of visitors. This is just one small facet of California's drought.
  • As I stepped onto the forest floor to shoot this I could hear the pine needles crack and could feel the thick dry duf give wa
    As I stepped onto the forest floor to shoot this I could hear the pine needles crack and could feel the thick dry duf give way under my feet. California is so dry...so primed for fire that one worries about what August and September will bring.
  • Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 23, 2014
    Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 23, 2014
  • Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 23, 2014
    Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 23, 2014
  • Planted this tree fifteen years ago, nursed it to maturity, it died this spring .
    Planted this tree fifteen years ago, nursed it to maturity, it died this spring .
  • Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 23, 2014
    Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 23, 2014
  • Very low water levels at Horseshoe Lake in Mammoth due to the ongoing drought in California, on July 9, 2014.
    Very low water levels at Horseshoe Lake in Mammoth due to the ongoing drought in California, on July 9, 2014.
  • Tuolumne Meadows, Calif. on July 5, 2014.
    Tuolumne Meadows, Calif. on July 5, 2014.
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