National Geographic’s “When the Snows Fail” Looks at the Dangerous Drought in the U.S.

California dam

For all its riches the valley looks nothing like paradise, and in drought years like this one, its shortcomings are excruciatingly obvious. Dust rises from fallowed fields, often thickly enough to obscure the snowcapped Sierra Nevada in the distance. The whole place seems to stagger under a heavy blanket of grit and heat.