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California drought: The tough, complicated battle for cheap water




MENDOTA, CA - APRIL 29:  Dried and cracked earth is visible on an unplanted field at a farm on April 29, 2014 near Mendota, California. As the California drought continues, Central California farmers are hiring well drillers to seek water underground for their crops after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation stopped providing Central Valley farmers with any water from the federally run system of reservoirs and canals fed by mountain runoff.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MENDOTA, CA - APRIL 29: Dried and cracked earth is visible on an unplanted field at a farm on April 29, 2014 near Mendota, California. As the California drought continues, Central California farmers are hiring well drillers to seek water underground for their crops after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation stopped providing Central Valley farmers with any water from the federally run system of reservoirs and canals fed by mountain runoff. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Traveling along Interstate 5 in central California, it's nearly impossible to miss the signs - "Congress Created Dustbowl" reads one. "No Water, No Jobs Equals higher food costs" reads another.

These banners make bold claims condemning politicians to those traveling through the dry and dusty region. But behind these declarations is a complicated story.

Bettina Boxall pored through that story for the Los Angeles Times and explains more.