For Some Californians, Effects Of Punishing Drought Not Over

HANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Despite record rain and snow, California’s drought emergency has not ended for thousands of people in four rural counties.

In the agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley, many residents with dried up wells must still use water delivered to large tanks in their yards to wash dishes and bathe.

It’s one of the few alternatives that remain.

Scientists at Stanford University and NASA say excessive pumping of wells during the drought has permanently tapped out some underground sources of water that will never recover.

Officials say nearly 2,400 wells dried up at the height of five-year drought, affecting 12,000 people.

David Miguel, who lives in a rural neighborhood surrounded by orchards, is waiting for a state grant to connect his home to a community well after his own went dry.

The retired farm hand relies on water deliveries and laughs when he hears that Gov. Jerry Brown recently declared the drought was over for most of California.

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