Aug. 06, 2021
Best of the States
As wells dry up in parched US West, AP reports on residents now without running water
The extreme drought in the American West has already taken a dramatic toll. And now, near the Oregon-California border, as many as several hundred wells have dried up in the past few weeks, leaving dozens of homeowners in the parched region with no running water at all. Reporter Gillian Flaccus and freelance photographer Nathan Howard documented the residents’ plight and the challenges facing authorities responding to the situation.
Flaccus used sources she had built in months of reporting on the dire conditions in the Klamath River Basin, convincing people to let Howard depict their hardship over water in photos and video. Digital storyteller Samantha Shotzbarger then weaved all the elements into a compelling multimedia offering. The story drew widespread play in the U.S., especially in the West.
For continuing to shine light on the effects of the drought afflicting the U.S. West, Flaccus, Howard and Shotzbarger win this week’s Best of the States award.