Australia's third hottest year on record has lead to a surge in workload for boring and drilling contractors across the region.
Wodonga-based Rumble Drilling showcased at the Tallangatta Farming Expo on Thursday, where one year ago the family business could not have anticipated the jump in requests to come.
"We came to the expo for the first time in 2018 and we got a few jobs from it, but then the work kept carrying on through word of mouth," said Meg Rumble, who owns the business with husband Grant.
"We're normally quiet over winter because people don't need water, but after the expo last year, Grant worked right through and into the summer period.
"The last time we had a summer that bad was 2009, it was that dry, and they're predicting summer this year will be bad again.
"People are really worried; I've had people on the phone to me in tears saying 'I need water now'."
Mrs Rumble said it was devastating hearing of farmers running out of water and being forced to shoot cattle, and urged landholders to plan for bores before they got desperate.
"All of a sudden you'll have 40 calls in a week, with all those people needing it done now," she said.
"If they planned ahead, it would be easier on them and us."
Rumble Drilling was exhibiting their Schramm drilling rig at the showgrounds on Thursday, which is used with up to 36 six-metre rods to drill deep into the ground to access water.
"It's normally about 90 metres deep that we dig around here, but we can go anywhere up to three kilometres down," she said.
"We also recently started working with a world-renowned water diviner from France who comes over.
"Grant is good using wires, but Eric is phenomenal - he has hit water every time he's ever drilled, apart from one job out at Barnawartha.
"We've been using him for a lot of jobs up near Corryong where we're not sure exactly where the water is."
There were 118 exhibitors at the 26th annual expo, including Wrenwood Farm Shop, Rotor Solutions Australia, Beavo's Honey, and Bertolis Ag and Industrial.