Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
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Past droughts have crushed civilizations

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Past droughts

As bad as the current drought may seem to Southern Californians suffering with brown lawns and low-flow showerheads, it doesn’t hold water to what the area faced during some of the worst periods in its history.

Scientists who study ancient climates are learning that California’s past is marked by stifling, soul-crushing droughts that lasted 30 years or much longer and brought complex societies to their knees.

By aging old tree stumps in Lake Tahoe, climate researcher Susan Lindstrom found a dry period that lasted an estimated 1,300 years until it finally started getting wetter around 4000 B.C.

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