NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

Cannon Michael of the Bowles Farming Company with his sons. He summarized the problem some California farmers face because of land subsidence: “Water traditionally flowed with gravity. It isn’t going to run uphill.”

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

Chase Hurley, the manager of the San Luis Canal Company. “Based on current California law,” he said, “you can dig as many holes as you want.”

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

Mr. Hurley driving beside a canal managed by his company. 

 

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

A farm served by the San Luis Canal Company, which manages the water supply for about 45,000 acres in California.

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

A farm using flood irrigation, which many believe is an outdated and innefecient means of irrigating crops.  

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

Workers fixing a leak in a farm's irrigation system. In the drought, two simple, if contradictory, themes have emerged among farmers: One, we’re all in this together. Two, it’s every man for himself.

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

A field of drought-stricken almond trees in the Central Valley await the chipper. Scarcity of water has always been an issue in the valley, some parts of which get only about 10 inches of rain a year.

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

Possible solutions to the water shortage, like using pipes to connect farms so they can share water more efficiently, could take years to put in place.

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

Possible solutions to the water shortage, like using pipes to connect farms so they can share water more efficiently, could take years to put in place.

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

Drilling equipment on an almond farm. With the expansion of agriculture in the Central Valley and the planting of thirsty, year-round crops like almonds, the demand for water is much greater.

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

NEW YORK TIMES: CALIFORNIA FARMERS DIG DEEPER

Parvinder Hundal next to a canal adjacent to his almond orchards, water to which he has no rights at the moment.