The low water level reveals two chairs at the Almaden Reservoir in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. The advancing drought condition is most evident in the small reservoirs that store water in Santa Clara County. According to the Santa Clara Valley Water District the Almaden, Uvas and Stevens Creek reservoirs are all at 3 percent or lower capacity. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Folsom police officers Daren Prociw, left, and Eric Baade of the mounted enforcement detail ride their horses across the exposed lake bed at Folsom Lake on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Folsom, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)
Weeds grow out of the exposed lake bed at Folsom Lake on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Folsom, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)
California’s current drought is being billed as the driest period in the state’s recorded rainfall history. But scientists who study the West’s long-term climate patterns say the state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began.