CROCKETT COUNTY, Texas -- Plastic-lined pits holding millions of gallons of blue-green water are tucked away in fields chock-full of withering mesquite trees.
After the driest eight-month period in Texas' recorded history, this barren ranch land has become inhospitable to even the most drought-resistant vegetation.
So where, amid the severe dry spell, did all this pristine water come from?
The query probably would not have been raised in non-drought times in this oil-friendly community.
But as West Texas' reservoirs run dry, cities are scouring the region for their next water supply, and farmers are becoming more desperate for rainfall, oil companies here and elsewhere are pumping out millions of gallons of freshwater from underground aquifers.