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Drought-stricken farmers desperate for new water wells

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 01:24

Well drilling companies are in high demand as farmers scramble to irrigate their crops through California's record drought. Linda So reports.

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Digging through the muck and mud is saving farmers in California. As the state suffers through a record drought, farmers are desperate for new water wells to irrigate their crops. The high demand is keeping drilling companies busy with some farmers having to wait up to a year for work to begin. SOUNDBITE: STEVE ARTHUR, CO-OWNER OF ARTHUR AND ORUM WELL DRILLING COMPANY, SAYING: "Everyone needs the water. It's just trying to get to them fast enough. It's extremely hard because some of the deeper wells, they might take a month to drill on the real deep wells." And it's not cheap either. Depending on how deep you have to drill, a new well can cost anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. For farmers like Aldo Sansoni, it's a small price to pay. The devastating drought is threatening the future of his farm, which has been in the family for almost a hundred years. SOUNDBITE: ALDO SANSONI, OWNER OF DELTA FARMS, SAYING: "If we don't get any rain and we don't get any snowfall in the Sierras, which can happen, there's no question it can happen, then all the wells that we do have in this area, including our own will not be sufficient water to farm." A very real threat for the farming industry in California as experts fear conditions will only get worse. SOUNDBITE: PROFESSOR JAY FAMIGLIETTI, SENIOR WATER SCIENTIST AT NASA'S JET PROPULSION LABORATORY, SAYING: "California sits in a dry part of the world that's just going to get drier over time." In the meantime, farmers hope drilling new water wells will save their crops from dying.

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Drought-stricken farmers desperate for new water wells

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 01:24