ELLETTSVILLE – Indianas ponds, creeks and springs are drying up during the worst drought in decades, leaving some livestock farmers scrambling to find new sources of water for their thirsty animals.
Although the states drought conditions have recently lessened, one-third of Indiana remains in at least an extreme drought. That includes much of the southern Indiana, where the heat and dry conditions have taken a toll on water sources.
Monroe County cattle farmer Keith Weathers said a spring he usually taps for water for 70 of his cows dried up about a month ago. Since then, Weathers has had to fill up a 400-gallon tank with water twice a day to keep his cattle from becoming parched.
Its a little extra work, but you have to do stuff like this from time to time. I just go four or five miles, Weathers told the Herald-Times.
Weathers uses a well to water cattle he keeps at another location, but fears it could go dry if the drought persists. So, hes been paying for the water he hauls each day, using a municipal water-dispensing machine in nearby Ellettsville.
Ellettsville Water Superintendent Michael Farmer said the drought has sent more customers to the towns coin-activated Automatic Water Salesman as ponds and creeks dry up.
Everybody that has a cistern is using it, and those are regular users, Farmer said.
Farmer said hes surprised that, considering the droughts severity, he hasnt heard of any area wells going dry.
About all the ponds I know are stagnant, he said.
Penny Caudill, administrator at the Monroe County Health Department, said she hasnt heard of any local wells going dry, either.
I have heard that people with wells are really conserving, she said, but I have not heard of any running dry. But Im certain there are a lot of people hauling water this summer.