Drilling or digging

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Access to groundwater is not always easy, so many different types of drilling mechanisms (ranging in depth capacity and costs) are covered in this section. Africa, for example, is said to have rich amounts of groundwater, as compared with other continents. That said, machine-drilled wells are often too expensive for most of the population. Drilling ‘shallow’ wells (up to 35 meter depth) by hand, reduces the price of a well by a factor 4 to 10 compared to a machine-drilled borehole. This cost reduction enables NGOs and Governments to construct more water wells, but also ‘opens the door’ to villagers, farmers, schools and small communities to have a well constructed independently through the private sector.

Climate change considerations
With climate change events, such as drought, some areas of groundwater may be drying up, therefore deeper boreholes and wells may need to be drilled (creating greater expense). Since some aquifers will provide less water in times of drought, perched aquifers (aquifers higher than the water table) should be avoided. Coastal aquifers may get invaded by saline waters, therefore be sure to check water quality.

Auger drilling.jpg
Vonder rig.jpg
Point and well.jpg
Percussion drilling.jpg
Stone hammer well drilling.PNG
Manually rotated jetting small.jpg
Emas drilling small.jpg
Jetting engine small.jpg
Rota sludge small.jpg
Baptist drilling small.jpg
Asian sludge small.jpg
HandDugWell small.jpg
Infiltration well small.JPG
Riverbed Well small.jpg
Jetted driven well point small.jpg
Refilled well small.jpg
Bamboo screens small.jpg

Field experiences

These projects may be utilizing manual digging or drilling and are part of the project listing in Really Simple Reporting (RSR) on Akvo.org.

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Akvorsr logo lite.png
RSR Project 703
RSR Project 727
TESO North School and Community WASH Project
RSR Project 397
Eau Hygiène et Assainissement
RSR Project 401
Eau, hygiène et assainissement
RSR Project 473
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Akvorsr logo lite.png
RSR Project 922
WaterAid Rural
WASH Project
RSR Project 529
Water Sanitation and Hygiene Project
RSR Project 788
RSR Project 388
WASH Alliance project, AMREF in Ethiopia
RSR Project 822
in Monrovia
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Akvorsr logo lite.png
RSR Project 933
Accelerating Sanitation and Water for All 1
RSR Project 1112
Child Friendly
School WASH Project II
RSR Project 1366
Rural Boreholes and Rehabilitation 1
RSR Project 1367
Panta District
Rural Water Project 1
RSR Project 1374
Integrated Community Water and Hygiene

Manual drilling comparison of methods

Drilling Method Selection. Chart: WEDC Loughborough University Leicestershire.

Manual drilling links

How to Professionalize the
Manual Drilling Sector in Africa 1
How to Professionalize the
Manual Drilling Sector in Africa 2
Professionalizing Manual Drilling:
2. Building Capacity (English)
Professionlizing Manual Well
Drilling: 4. Mapping (English)
Professionalizing Manual Well
Drilling: 2. Drilling Techniques