Contractors digging deep as demand for wells soars
Contractors are digging as deep as 300ft and 400ft to source water for farmers as the demand for second wells escalates in some of the bigger farms around Ireland.
"Farmers with a lot of stock now realise that some of the older 150ft wells are just not deep enough during times like this and many have already started to run out.
"For those who have decided to get in a second well, we have to go much deeper to avoid this happening again in the future," commented Tom Fogarty, who runs a well-established drilling business in Gowran, Co Kilkenny.
Since mid-May Mr Fogarty has been dealing with an alarming number of calls from dairy farmers throughout the Tipperary and Kilkenny region.
"They are all calling looking for advice. We often see them running low later in the year, but this is unprecedented in July.
"We are advising them that instead of putting in a storage tank, they should invest in a second well which will be far better in the long run. For instance, a borehole 80 metres deep is capable of delivering three cubic metres of water per hour.
"At the moment we can offer a four or five-hour turnaround service to deal with emergency issues. For new clients, we get their details and check to see what the water supply is like in the area. We will also use a water diviner if required."
In extreme heat, a dairy cow could consume anything up to 100 litres of water a day, so a farmer with a herd of 500 would need anything up to 50,000 litres a day at his disposal.