Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Few Clicks to Understanding California's Drought

Unless you've been on vacation and off the grid the last few days, you've likely seen the coverage of the massive 30-inch water main break on Sunset Boulevard near the UCLA campus in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. The break has spewed over 20 million gallons of water, flooding UCLA buildings, creating a massive sinkhole in the street, and heightening awareness of the fact that California is suffering through a drought of epic proportions.

As this map from the U.S Drought Monitor shows, most of the state is currently under extreme or exceptional drought conditions.

I discovered this Story Map a few weeks ago, and it drives home in just a few clicks - one actually - how low this year's water levels are compared to three years ago - click once to advance the tour and see for yourself.

You can view the entire Story Map Tour, authored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), to learn and see more. Zoom in to see where the photos were captured. This very simple, yet effective application tells the story in just a few clicks.

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