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Farmers drilling deeper for water as drought drags on
Farmers drilling deeper for water as drought drags on

On a dusty clearing between a fallow wheat field and wilting orange groves, Steve Arthur's crew of two mud-splattered well drillers worked furiously to deliver a lifeline to another despondent farmer. Using a diesel-powered rig that rumbled like a moving subway car, the workers bore deeper and deeper into the packed clay in hopes of tapping a steady supply of groundwater — about the only source of water that remains for many growers in this parched rural community about 40 miles north of Bakersfield. Only a lucky few get a visit from Arthur. His waiting list, recorded in two 4-inch-thick binders, would take a year to clear. Most farmers can't wait that long to save...

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