Rural Tulare County, Calif., is now being called the epicenter of this drought.
That's because at least 1,300 residential wells have run dry, affecting at least 7,000 people. When your taps start spitting out air here, Paul Boyer and his team are who you call.
Under a punishing midafternoon sun, Boyer helps muscle down five of these hefty 400-pound water tanks from a semi-truck flatbed. He helps run a local nonprofit that's in charge of distributing these 2,500-gallon water tanks to drought victims.
Travel up and down California farm country, the Central Valley, and you hardly hear people lamenting the lack of rain or how dry this past winter was. What you hear, from the agriculture industry and many local and national politicians, are sentiments like those expressed by Rep. Devin Nunes:
"Well, what I always like to say is that this is a man-made drought created by government," the Central Valley Republican says.
Swayambhunath — also known as the Monkey Temple, for its holy, furry dwellers that swing from the rosewood trees — is one of the oldest and most sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley, an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus as well as Buddhists. It was also one of the worst damaged by last month's earthquake.
That's what the people of the ancient city of Bhaktapur want to know.
The historic gate to old Bhaktapur is about the only thing still standing after the earthquake. The ornate temples have crumbled. Brick homes were reduced to rubble. People have lost everything, including loved ones.
People are living under tarps or out in the open, without running water or toilets. Some 70 people are living in an improvised hut. Flies are everywhere. People say they haven't had any help from the outside — no medicine, no food.
Transportation officials in the U.S. and Canada are imposing tougher safety standards on trains hauling crude oil.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Canada's Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced Friday that shippers must use stronger tank cars to haul oil across North America by October 1. The new rules will also mandate the use of a controversial braking system on trains carrying crude.
At Model Hospital in Nepal's capital Kathmandu, two dozen patients are crowded into what would normally be the first floor reception area.
Nurses are racing about. Patients lying on worn, dirty mats on the floor are hooked up to IVs. One man, Loknatch Subedi, is sprawled out on a stretcher, his feet bandaged, one leg propped up on an old pillow.
"I'm getting better," he says.
On Saturday, he and his wife were riding on a scooter when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck. He was hit by a flying brick from a wall they were passing. The scooter crashed.
The historic four-year drought in California has been grabbing the headlines lately, but there's a much bigger problem facing the West: the now 14-year drought gripping the Colorado River basin.
One of the most stunning places to see its impact is at the nation's largest reservoir, Lake Mead, near Las Vegas. At about 40 percent of capacity, it's the lowest it's been since it was built in the 1930s.
No cargo will go in or out of 29 West Coast ports this weekend.
It's the third partial shutdown in operations at these ports in a week, the result of a bitter labor dispute between shipping lines and the union representing 20,000 dock workers. The dispute has been dragging on for eight months, and now the economic impacts of the shutdown are starting to be felt.
In Southern California many schools are facing tough questions about measles.
California is one of 20 states that allow students to opt out of school vaccination requirements when those rules conflict with their parents' personal beliefs. Many affluent areas along the California coast are home to schools with some of the highest "personal belief exemption" rates in the country. And that is creating some tension for administrators and health officials.
There's a PSA that greets you on the radio when you're driving the flat stretch of Colorado State Highway 113 near the Nebraska state line: "With marijuana legal under Colorado law, we've all got a few things to know. ... Once you get here, can't leave our state. Stick around, this place is pretty great."
A year ago, as part of our series on the Great Plains oil rush, we brought you the story of a 36-year-old father who had recently lost his job when one of the last major timber mills in the Northwest shut down. After several years struggling to find steady work and even after going back to school, Rory Richardson decided to commute 550 miles from his home in far western Montana, to a place where jobs are plentiful - the oil fields of North Dakota. But after a little more than a year, he and his family have decided the toll is just too great.
It's been nearly a year since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, and since then, pot has become a billion-dollar business in the state. And some growers have made it a mission to make it legitimate and mainstream.
"Change the face," says pot entrepreneur Brooke Gehring. "But really, not to be the stereotype of what they think is stoner culture, but to realize they are true business people that are operating these companies."
Colorado is one of the battleground states where Republicans made big gains this week. Republicans in the state believe they now have momentum going into the 2016 presidential election.
But the GOP has suffered some punishing losses there lately, owing in part to the state's changing demographics. That trend may still be a big factor in 2016.
The last time Republicans won a U.S. Senate seat here was when Wayne Allard was re-elected in 2002. Back then, Congressman and now Senator-elect Cory Gardner was a young staffer working behind the scenes for Allard.
Think of California's Santa Barbara County and you might picture the area's famous beaches or resorts and wineries. But in the northern reaches of the vast county, oil production has been a major contributor to the economy for almost a century.
So it's no surprise that the oil industry there is feverishly organizing to fight a local ballot initiative — Measure P — that would ban controversial drilling methods such as hydraulic fracturing. What is turning heads, however, is the sheer volume of money flooding into this local race, mainly from large oil companies.
The past few years have been California's driest on record. Forecasters predict that punishing droughts like the current one could become the new norm.
The state uses water rationing and a 90-year-old water distribution system to cope until the rains come. The system is a huge network of dams, canals and pipes that move water from the places it rains and snows to places it typically doesn't, like farms and cities.
In California's rural Central Valley, a candidate's identity means everything in politics. Just take the race between first-term Republican Rep. David Valadao and Democrat Amanda Renteria for the state's 21st Congressional District seat, which is attracting some unusual attention this fall.
In a midterm election year where immigration remains a thorny subject, both Valadao and Renteria talk openly about the need for Congress to pass the stalled comprehensive reform bill.