Australia is the second-driest continent on the planet, so droughts are not unusual. This year’s could be the worst in living memory. In some parts of the country, the current winter drought follows the second-warmest summer and one of the driest and warmest autumns. And there appears to be no end in sight, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Many weather events contribute to drought years: weak monsoon, long spells of high pressure, and natural variations of El Niño. Human-induced climate change, which raises global average temperatures, continues to fuel extreme weather events.
A 2017 study shows that, in some parts of Australia, the intensity of 21st-century droughts has been unlike anything seen in more than 400 years. It’s likely to get worse in coming decades, with human-induced climate change unabated.
Reuters sent photographer David Gray to document the struggles of living through one of the worst droughts in Australia. Quartz has selected some of Gray’s best shots—many of which he took using a drone.