by Susie Cagle
When Carolina Garcia’s well began pumping sand and air instead of water in 2016, she didn’t know where to turn.
The Garcias had been living in Tombstone Territory, a quiet four-street community in California’s San Joaquin Valley, for 10 years. In the middle of the state’s historic drought, many of the farms surrounding Tombstone Territory had installed new wells and deepened existing ones. Despite being just two miles from the Kings river, Tombstone was drying up.
Garcia, her husband and four children spent four days without water that first time.
They resolved to lower their water pump. It worked for a few months – but then, again, sand and air. When they repaired it again, they were told the new fix would only buy them a couple more years.
Sitting at her kitchen table one recent afternoon, Garcia was soft spoken as she remembered the facts of this crisis. But her large dark eyes filled with tears as she recalled the pain of sending her children to school unshowered, begging neighbors to fill jugs of water and going to the bathroom outside.
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