California drought proving beneficial for well-drilling companies

California drought proving beneficial for well-drilling companies

California's vicious, prolonged drought may be hurting households, farms and factories and many other segments of the state economy, but it is proving beneficial to well-drilling outfits like Arthur & Orum.

Marred by the persistent drought, farmers are looking deeper and deeper underground in order to satisfy the thirst of their crops. This means the severe dry condition of the state is proving to be a short-term bonanza for well- drilling companies like Arthur & Orum, which are enjoying more orders for deeper well-drilling.

Arthur & Orum is expecting its gross revenue to jump to as much as $3 million this year, thanks to more orders for deeper well-drilling.

Looking at binders of dozens of well-drilling orders, Arthur & Orum's Steve Arthur said, "We've got more stacked up than we'll do before the end of the year."

The company has received orders for drilling wells as deep as 600 feet. In an area to the north of Fresno, an almond grower placed an order with the company for digging down 2,000 feet. Steve explained that the water table in the area is not yet that low, but the grower wanted reserve room because he expected the groundwater to fall further.

Meanwhile, the California Legislature has passed new groundwater controls. The measures don't abolish private ownership but they set up a strict framework for managing water-withdrawals through local agencies. Whenever localities fail to manage their water resources sustainably, the state will be able to step in.

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