There are over 50,000 marijuana grow houses in northern California, in what is referred to as the Emerald Triangle. Most of these siphon water from nearby rivers and streams, which are primary tributaries for the endangered coho salmon species.

According to the Wall Street Journal, marijuana cultivation has been legal since 1996 for medicinal purposes, but people have been growing it illegally in much larger quantities, resulting in river depletion.

Although growing weed is not the single primary cause of drought in California by any means, it is affecting the ecosystems greatly.

California has recently had to send farmers to manually transport populations of salmon to their spawning grounds because water levels and temperatures have been to low for them to swim upstream themselves.

Cover image: Wikimedia Commons