Drought Drying Up Home Wells

Families forced to adapt in a hurry
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2012 1:53 PM CDT
Water hauler Carl Marion of Athens, Ill., pumps water from his 2,000 gallon water tank on the back of his truck into a campground well in Petersburg, Ill, Aug. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

(Newser) – If you rely on well water and live in the Midwest, hopefully you're not too attached to the idea of showering. The drought pummeling the nation has been drying up a lot of private wells, the New York Times reports, forcing rural homeowners to either take the not-exactly-cheap step of drilling deeper, or travel miles to import water. "It's just crazy right now," says the owner of a Missouri drilling company. "I've never seen anything like this in almost 30 years."

Midwestern officials say hundreds have complained of water either turning milky or stopping entirely. The reason is simple: A lack of rain has dried up aquifers, while forcing towns and farmers to drain unusually high amounts of groundwater. One man says his family spent weeks relying on gallon jugs of water from their neighbors. "It's amazing how far you can stretch a gallon of water," he says. (Read more water stories.)

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