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      Drought increases well driller's demand

      As one the most intense droughts in the Midwest drags on, plenty of Missourians are now looking to wells.

      Governor Jay Nixon recently announced emergency aid for people who need to drill or deepen their wells.

      Well drillers in our area are few and far between. And if you get a hold of one, you'll probably have to wait your turn. One Marion County couple in the well drilling business says their phone hasn't stopped ringing.

      Donald Claus is a third generation well driller in Maywood, Missouri.

      "I'm about the only generation that's still in it around here," Donald said.

      He's drilled an average of 8 to 10 wells a year, for the last 40 years, with his wife Marilyn at his side.

      "No two drills are the same. Using the rods, we can get an idea of where the water is," Marilyn said.

      This year's drought has caused quite the demand for the duo around the Tri-State area.

      "Water is in demand right now for cattle and hogs and stuff like that," Donald explained.

      Donald and Marilyn say they've received numerous calls from farmers and ranchers wanting a well for their animals. Donald's in the process of drilling a well at a Durham farm.

      "His ponds and stuff like that are going down too fast," Donald said.

      It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to drill a well and Donald can drill only one at a time. So if you give him a call, you'll probably make the waiting list.

      The Claus' are looking to hire someone who'd like to learn the trade. They currently have no one to pass on the business to and say it's a very important skill to have in an area like this.

      You must be certified by the Department of Natural Resources to become a well digger.