Irrigation wells drying up from the lack of rain

Irrigation wells drying up from the lack of rain

CHICO, Calif. - It has been bone dry so far this winter, enough for it to be the worst drought in California history.

Water levels in wells for farms in the Northstate are dropping quickly.   Steve Gwathney, owner of G&S Pump service said farmers are starting to dig their wells deeper and are concerned about them drying up.

"We are in the fifth year of a five-year drought and it's not getting any better," said Gwathney.  "The water tables dropped about 30 feet in certain areas, Durham, Corning, and Orland."
Gwatheny said his phone has been ringing off the hook for farmers needing their wells to be dug a little deeper.
"Personally I either field a call or got someone in direct contact with a driller on 30 to 50 wells," said Gwathney.
In Durham, almond farmer Jan Holman and her husband own 30 acres of almond trees.  She said that with the lack of rain, the water level in her two wells is starting to decrease.
"It's is a little scary when we pull air a little bit and we were doing that the last part of the irrigation season," said Holman.
The Holmans are fortunate this year they didn't have to dig their wells deeper.
"We are hoping to be getting rain next Tuesday.  Let's pray it's a lot of it," said Holman.

Farmers also use sprinkler systems to protect their crop from freezing temperatures. Experts explain it's the snow pack that usually refills the wells.

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