The Impact of the California Drought


Courtesy of NBC News

Kaitlyn Berg

Recently, California has seen some rain, which is good considering the recent data of the state. California has had its driest year since 1924 and experts believe that the next 12 months will be even worse. 

Tittle photo courtesy of CNBC

Even though the recent rainfall has helped, it isn’t enough to overcome the drought. This issue is also affecting the moisture in the soil. The Western Regional Climate Center found that a total of 11.87 inches of rain and snow fell this year since September 30, which is half than the average of precipitation in California a year.. The environment around us is changing because of the drought.The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report earlier this year, it found the ice melt and sea level rise is already increasing and humans are mainly responsible for this issue. This is a hazard for animals because they have to deal with the changing climate and it can damage their habitat and how they eat Some examples of animals affected with this problem are baby salmon, butterflies, rattlesnakes, and bears.

Baby Salmon

Thousands of baby salmon are dying in the California river. This is a result of the low water levels brought on by the drought. These low water levels allow parasites to thrive, that kill fish. That’s why Salmon prices have gone up to $35 per pound. This also affects Native American tribes who’s diet and traditions are connected to the fish.


Butterfly populations have dropped by a lot in California. For some species the fertility clinics are the only

Courtesy of Wall street international magazine.

reason they aren’t extinct. This is due to the decline in their food source, plants and harmful pesticides. Scott Black said, “The butterflies are the canary in the coal mine.” He thinks that the major loss of insects will have a rippled affect in the animal kingdom, and eventually will affect humans. 


Rattlesnakes are cold-blooded animals, so they rely on their surroundings to maintain body temperature. This causes rattlesnakes to be out more often because of the warmer climate and less water due to global warming. This also means more breeding which indicates more rattlesnakes next year. 


There is so little water in California a number of creatures such as bears are venturing into human-dominated areas looking for water. This happens after their usual location is dried up due to the climate. 

Heat Wave

Since, California is in a drought it can intensify a heat wave. A heat wave recently has hit Europe this summer due to climate change. It has been Greece’s worst heat wave in three decades and has brought wildfires to the outskirts of the Athens. A heat wave is a period of time when it’s much hotter then the region’s usual climate. A heat wave is actually the natural disaster that kills the most people in the US. People die from a heat wave for a number of reasons, but all of them are caused by heat. During a heat wave since it doesn’t even cool down at night people overheat and get dehydrated if they aren’t in an air conditioned place. A heat wave can also intensify medical issues like  heart attacks . Thankfully, California isn’t as much affected by a heat wave because it isn’t humid here.


7th grader Ainslie Mueller said, “I didn’t know that heat waves are the number one natural disaster that kills most people in the US. I think that scientists should work on a way to solve this issue.”

7th grader, Sophia Joerg said “I think we have to find a way to preserve our water. If we keep wasting water, our environment will not be okay. Plants will die and we need plants! I also think scientist should find out how so many people are dying from the heat wave and how the drought is contributing to that.