You’ve heard about the prolonged drought in the southwest. Here’s an illustration. That is Elephant Butte dam and reservoir. You can see the bleached areas revealed as the water level has dropped in the reservoir (the right side of the dam in the photo).
The dam was begun 100 years ago and completed in 1916. The dam is 306 feet high and 1,674 feet wide. Elephant Butte is an island in the 40-mile long lake. The river dammed is the Rio Grande.
Photo taken November 13th. Click for a larger version.