The hard-hit Central Valley in California will need decades
to recover from depleted groundwater levels from the 2016 drought. At the height of the drought, roughly 2,350
residential wells were bone dry. If you zero in on the exact location of these wells, you may find yourself in a tiny community known as Okieville, roughly half way between San Francisco and LA. Issues of water scarcity or water contamination aren’t anything new for Okieville. But the community's failing wells caught people’s attention outside the area. In their case, things needed to get worse, in order for the chance to get better. This story aired nationally on Marketplace and regionally on KALW in San Francisco. You can read the story online here.
It won a SPJ NorCal Award for best Science, Environment and Health reporting in 2018.