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Lucy is a senior staff photographer for Reuters. This is her multimedia blog about her assignments and travels

California Drought from Above
Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

REUTERS WIDER IMAGE PHOTOS

THE GUARDIAN

Homes with swimming pools are seen in the Palm Springs area, California April 13, 2015. The average daily water usage per person in Palm Springs is 201 gallons, more than double the California average. California's cities and towns would be required to cut their water usage by up to 35 percent or face steep fines under proposed new rules, the state's first-ever mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the state enters its fourth year of severe drought. Communities where residential customers use more than 165 gallons of water per person per day would have to cut back by 35 percent. Picture taken April 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTR4XD39

In Palm Springs houses with swimming pools border verdant green golf courses in the midst of a desert landscape. With its warm and largely rain-free climate, the town is a renowned destination for retirees.

Now, as California enters a fourth year of severe drought, the community faces swingeing cuts to their water use. Governor Jerry Brown has ordered an overall 25 percent cut in urban water use through the first statewide mandatory reductions in California’s history.

A home with a swimming pool is seen in La Quinta, California April 13, 2015. California's cities and towns would be required to cut their water usage by up to 35 percent or face steep fines under proposed new rules, the state's first-ever mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the state enters its fourth year of severe drought. Communities where residential customers use more than 165 gallons of water per person per day would have to cut back by 35 percent. Picture taken April 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTR4XD83

The state’s upscale communities have been criticised for using more water than working-class cities and towns as the state grapples with the devastating drought.

A tractor collects golf balls on a driving range in the Palm Springs area, California April 13, 2015. The average daily water usage per person in Palm Springs is 201 gallons, more than double the California average. California's cities and towns would be required to cut their water usage by up to 35 percent or face steep fines under proposed new rules, the state's first-ever mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the state enters its fourth year of severe drought. Communities where residential customers use more than 165 gallons of water per person per day would have to cut back by 35 percent. Picture taken April 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY FOR BEST QUALITY IMAGE ALSO SEE: GM1EB5D0S6I01 - RTR4XD8U

A tractor collects golf balls on a driving range in the Palm Springs area, California April 13, 2015. The average daily water usage per person in Palm Springs is 201 gallons, more than double the California average.

Swimming pools are seen behind homes in Palm Springs, California April 13, 2015. The average daily water usage per person in Palm Springs is 201 gallons, more than double the California average, according to the New York Times. California's cities and towns would be required to cut their water usage by up to 35 percent or face steep fines under proposed new rules, the state's first-ever mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the state enters its fourth year of severe drought. Communities where residential customers use more than 165 gallons of water per person per day would have to cut back by 35 percent. Picture taken April 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTR4XD7X

Swimming pools are seen behind homes in Palm Springs, California April 13, 2015.

People play golf on a course in La Quinta, California April 13, 2015. California's cities and towns would be required to cut their water usage by up to 35 percent or face steep fines under proposed new rules, the state's first-ever mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the state enters its fourth year of severe drought. Communities where residential customers use more than 165 gallons of water per person per day would have to cut back by 35 percent. Picture taken April 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTR4XD6C

People play golf on a course in La Quinta, California April 13, 2015.

Homes with boathouses built around an artificial lake are seen in Indio, California April 13, 2015. California's cities and towns would be required to cut their water usage by up to 35 percent or face steep fines under proposed new rules, the state's first-ever mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the state enters its fourth year of severe drought. Communities where residential customers use more than 165 gallons of water per person per day would have to cut back by 35 percent. Picture taken April 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTR4XD3S

Homes with boathouses built around an artificial lake are seen in Indio, California April 13, 2015.

A campsite at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is seen after the first weekend ended in Indio, California April 13, 2015. Organizers have said they will reduce watering of the grounds and let some grass go brown after this year's festival, according to the New York Times. California's cities and towns would be required to cut their water usage by up to 35 percent or face steep fines under proposed new rules, the state's first-ever mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the state enters its fourth year of severe drought. Communities where residential customers use more than 165 gallons of water per person per day would have to cut back by 35 percent. Picture taken April 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTR4XD0O

A campsite at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is seen after the first weekend ended in Indio, California April 13, 2015. Organizers have said they will reduce watering of the grounds and let some grass go brown after this year’s festival, according to the New York Times.

A field of dead almond trees is seen in Coalinga in the Central Valley, California, United States May 6, 2015. Almonds, a major component of farming in California, use up some 10 percent of the state's water reserves according to some estimates. California ranks as the top farm state by annual value of agricultural products, most of which are produced in the Central Valley, the vast, fertile region stretching 450 miles (720 km) north-sound from Redding to Bakersfield. California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state's first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region's catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. Urban users will be hardest hit, even though they account for only 20 percent of state water consumption, while the state's massive agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related consumption, has been exempted. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTX1BWM5

A field of dead almond trees is seen in Coalinga in the Central Valley, California, United States May 6, 2015. Almonds, a major component of farming in California, use up some 10 percent of the state’s water reserves according to some estimates. California ranks as the top farm state by annual value of agricultural products, most of which are produced in the Central Valley, the vast, fertile region stretching 450 miles (720 km) north-sound from Redding to Bakersfield. California water regulators in May¬†adopted the state’s first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region’s catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. Urban users will be hardest hit, even though they account for only 20 percent of state water consumption, while the state’s massive agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related consumption, has been exempted.

A field of dead almond trees is seen next to a field of growing almond trees in Coalinga in the Central Valley, California, United States May 6, 2015. Almonds, a major component of farming in California, use up some 10 percent of the state's water reserves according to some estimates. California ranks as the top farm state by annual value of agricultural products, most of which are produced in the Central Valley, the vast, fertile region stretching 450 miles (720 km) north-sound from Redding to Bakersfield. California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state's first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region's catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. Urban users will be hardest hit, even though they account for only 20 percent of state water consumption, while the state's massive agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related consumption, has been exempted. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTX1BWMI

A field of dead almond trees is seen next to a field of growing almond trees in Coalinga in the Central Valley, California, United States May 6, 2015.

Cows are seen at Harris Cattle Ranch in Coalinga in the Central Valley, California, United States May 6, 2015. It takes 150 gallons of water to make a 1/3 pounder hamburger according to the U.S. Geological Survey. California ranks as the top farm state by annual value of agricultural products, most of which are produced in the Central Valley, the vast, fertile region stretching 450 miles (720 km) north-sound from Redding to Bakersfield. California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state's first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region's catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. Urban users will be hardest hit, even though they account for only 20 percent of state water consumption, while the state's massive agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related consumption, has been exempted. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTX1BWM4

Cows are seen at Harris Cattle Ranch in Coalinga in the Central Valley, California, United States May 6, 2015. It takes 150 gallons of water to make a 1/3 pounder hamburger according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A worker walks through farm fields in Los Banos, California, United States, May 5, 2015. California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state's first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region's catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. Urban users will be hardest hit, even though they account for only 20 percent of state water consumption, while the state's massive agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related consumption, has been exempted. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1BQUX

A worker walks through farm fields in Los Banos, California, United States, May 5, 2015.

Reservoir banks that used to be underwater are seen at Millerton Lake, on the San Joaquin River, in Friant, California, United States May 6, 2015. California's snowpack, which generally provides about a third of the state's water, is at its lowest level on record. California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state's first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region's catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTX1BVAY

Reservoir banks that used to be underwater are seen at Millerton Lake, on the San Joaquin River, in Friant, California, United States May 6, 2015. California’s snowpack, which generally provides about a third of the state’s water, is at its lowest level on record.

Reservoir banks that used to be underwater are seen at Millerton Lake, on the top of the Friant Dam in Friant, California, United States May 6, 2015. California's snowpack, which generally provides about a third of the state's water, is at its lowest level on record. California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state's first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region's catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTX1BVAS

Reservoir banks that used to be underwater are seen at Millerton Lake, on the top of the Friant Dam in Friant, California, United States May 6, 2015.

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