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CNN Today

Texas Drought Means Busy Days for Water Driller

Aired August 31, 2000 - 1:20 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: In Texas, the problem is a lack of rain. The state's in a drought, as you know, and that's making it a very, very busy summer for the folks who get paid to look for water.

Here's Don Wall of affiliate WFAA in Dallas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERT MILES, DRILLER: We've had some dry spells before. But this right here, you know, about as bad as I've seen it around. I just think a lot more people are, you know, trying to drill wells and stuff today, because, you know, just the -- everything they got's burning up.

DON WALL, WFAA REPORTER (voice-over): The drillers are beginning to hit water. It's like oil drilling, one piece of pipe is screwed into another with a drill bit at the end doing the work.

MILES: Well, when the water comes up, I call it gushing out, that's what I call it.

WALL (on camera): That's a good sight, huh?

MILES: That's a good sight when you see that water come out of there.

WALL (voice-over): There's the first gusher, fresh drinking water from the Paluxy (ph) aquifer, 180 feet down.

(on camera): The level of the Paluxy aquifer, which covers North Central Texas, is actually dropping, so water wells must be drilled deeper than after. A crew may dig 150 to 2,000 feet down before hitting water.

MILES: It just depends on where it's at.

WALL (voice-over): Robert Miles, his ancestors, and his children, have been digging water wells for 70 years in North Texas. They know the local geology and where the water is. They've also worked through all of the droughts. They and other water drilling companies have never been busier than they are now. Three crews are working sun up to sundown six days a week.

MILES: We're so busy we don't even want to answer the phones sometimes.

WALL: Drilling wells for homeowners, farmers and ranchers, and developers, drilling for precious water.

MILES: We take it for granted. We take it for granted it's always going to be there and it may not be that way. I mean, as many people that's coming in and new people, one of these days we may not have this water here. You know, we best conserve it the best that we can.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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