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Water can't come soon enough

By Matthew Smith, Good Morning El Paso Weekend Anchor / Reporter
Published On: Jun 01 2013 10:45:50 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 09:41:12 PM CST

ABC-7s Matthew Smith reports.

FABENS, Texas -

Water released from New Mexico is expected to make its way to El Paso within the week.

While the water is drastically needed by farmers in the Borderland, it won’t fill the need. Farmers like Ramon Tirres tell ABC-7 that they’ve been waiting for more water for months.

“It’s a great relief,” said TIrres in response to Saturday’s water release, but he pointed out that it doesn’t mean all is well. “When it gets hot it gets hot and you better have some water ready, but it’s not going to happen that way.”

TIrres waited nearly eight months to get two wells built for his property. By the time the well digger came, his irrigation was set for the season. That doesn’t mean he turned him away. With a full-fledged drought under way, he’s eyeing more bad years. Tirres said he jumped at the chance to get the wells dug this week.

As for William McGowan, the man digging the wells, he has his own story. He’s not from El Paso. In fact, he lives more than 500 miles away. He was called to the area for a job more than two years ago, but there is so much work here he never left.

“It looks like we’ll be here for quite a while, we have a lot of work to do,” explained McGowan.

McGowan has dug more than 200 test wells. He’s finished dozens of wells, but the work never seems to dry up as the Borderland stays dry.

“I actually turned down a lot of small stuff, probably more than 60 jobs,” explained McGowan.

As drought devastates Texas, McGowan and others are seeing unprecedented work. However, not everyone is rushing to Texas. With oil fields booming to the North, many don’t jump into water well digging. It means fewer people are doing jobs that hundreds of people are asking for.

While the drought is hurting, and creating opportunities, it seems the opportunities are falling by the wayside. For farmers like Ramon Tirres the wells are better late than never, but it means waiting to get full use out of them until next year.

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