Business booming for companies helping farmers desperate for water during the drought

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Business is booming for Kern County companies that are helping farmers who are desperate for water during this historic drought.

"This is the busiest I've ever seen it in 15 years,” said Greg Gerow, Assistant Manager with Farm Pump and Irrigation Co. in Shafter.

Gerow told 23ABC they averaged 20 phone calls per day from farmers requesting their services.

“Needing things like a pump extended, a pump pulled, drilling new wells and if they're just now calling it's a bad situation for them because nobody is going to be able to respond to their needs at this time."

Gerow also told 23ABC it could be four to six weeks before they are able to take on new customers for pump work and farmers needing new wells will have to wait until at least next year.

"If you haven't prepared and you have an existing pump company you're working with or well driller you've worked with in the past I would stay with them."

Companies like Rain for Rent in Bakersfield are also noticing a change.

“We're getting fewer requests from part of our business but more requests from another,” said Ismael Diaz, Branch Manager for Rain for Rent.

"We're moving water from areas where growers do have water to areas where they don't have water,” explained Diaz.

But while business is okay for now, if the drought continues, companies like Rain for Rent could also be in trouble.

"We have pumping systems to move water, but if growers don't have water we've got nothing to do."

"So there is just a lot of uncertainty, and growers, all companies, we like certainty and it's a lot of money these folks have on the line if they don't know whether or not they're going to have water."

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