Tom Philpott. Tom Philpott Science
Date of Publication: 10.16.15. 10.16.15
The California Aqueduct in the Mojave Desert near Palmdale, CA. Steve Proehl/Corbis
In California, news of a historically powerful El Niño oceanic warming event is stoking hopes that winter rains will ease the state’s brutal drought. But for farmers in the Central Valley, one of the globe’s most productive agricultural regions, water troubles go much deeper—literally—than the current lack of precipitation.