Digital Download

When a Town Runs Dry

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

When A Town Runs Dry documents life in Stratford, a small town in California’s Central Valley. A farming community for over a hundred years, Stratford is suffering from a drought that is severely impacting the community, land, and residents’ daily lives.

Currently in its sixth year of drought, the Central Valley is home to the country’s most productive agricultural region, containing more than half of all the fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown in the United States. Some farmers are selling land and cutting back on farmed acreage, while others dig deeper wells to maintain crop yields. Groundwater in the area has significantly diminished due to over-use and according to the Los Angeles Times, the water table below Stratford fell 100 feet in two years. Residents are living without running water.

This film explores the drought through the eyes of three Stratford residents—a farmer, a shopkeeper, and a high school football coach. All three men prepare for an uncertain future.

More to Explore

Coming Home to the Cove

This series is the multigenerational story of a Coast Miwok family’s eviction from their ancestral home and one woman’s effort to bring the living history of her family back to the land.

Watch Anytime, Anywhere

Watch our films on your phone, tablet, or connected TV.