1. WET WEST

    Farmers Race Frackers for Water

    Devin Davis of Paul Tree Farms uses a special water canon to water 30,000 trees on the 60 acre farm Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Pleasant Plains, Ill. The trees as well as livestock, wildlife and crops are struggling from lack of rain and a heat wave covering most of the country. The nation's widest drought in decades is spreading. More than half of the continental U.S. is now in some stage of drought, and most of the rest is abnormally dry. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

    Seth Perlman / AP Photo

    Farmers are racing against oil and gas companies in America’s western states as the energy producers sop up precious water resources for use in fracking—a drilling procedure that shoots pressurized water and chemicals deep into wells to unlock fossil fuels. Fracking at a single well site could use as much as five million gallons of water, a resource that is also in demand among farmers in the region who don’t have the power of a massive company behind them. Oil and gas industry officials say claims of shortage made by farmers are exaggerated.

    Read it at The New York Times