"PIXLEY – So wet was the San Joaquin Valley of Steve Arthur's childhood that a single 240-foot-deep well could quench the thirst of an arid farm.
Now his massive rig, bucking and belching, must drill 1,200 feet deep in search of ever-more-elusive water to sustain this wheat farm north of Bakersfield. As he drills, his phone rings with three new appeals for help.
'Everybody is starting to panic,' said Arthur, whose Fresno-based well-drilling company just bought its ninth rig, off the Wyoming oil fields. 'Without water, this valley can't survive.'"