Sustainable Groundwater Development: use, protect and enhance

Sustainable groundwater development is absolutely fundamental for universal access to safe drinking water. And yet this is poorly understood. Groundwater is a finite resource that in some countries is under serious threat from pollution causing permanent aquifer damage while in others over-abstraction is resulting in reduced water availability.

This RWSN publication is to help create a better understanding of the crucial importance of groundwater and to highlight the risk to its sustainability. It is intended for politicians, policy makers, gov- ernment partners and the public. It advocates responsible ground- water use and cautions against abuse. It encourages users of groundwater to protect and enhance this precious resource for the long term benefit of the most vulnerable communities who primari- ly use hand pumps. Note that this is an update of the 2012 publica- tion of the same name, with minor corrections.

It is vital that we better understand the features and functions of groundwater so that together, we can identify solutions for its sustainable development. If we adopt basic guidelines for using, protecting and enhancing groundwater we can ensure safe and sustainable water supplies for the next generation. This is illustrated in our vision of how rural water supply may look by 2035.

Political commitment, well-planned actions and the allocation of adequate financial and human resources is needed to secure sus- tainable groundwater development worldwide for our and future generations. Are you ready to take on this challenge?

This training manual is also available in French.

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Supervising Water Well Drilling A Guide for Supervisors

Good supervision of water well drilling is essential for the provi- sion of long-lasting water wells. This guidance note assists ge- ologists and engineers in charge of the supervision of borehole construction as well as project managers. It can be used to pre- pare for training, and as a manual.

This guide details the responsibilities of the drilling supervisor at the different stages of borehole construction. It explains the actions to be carried out at each stage that will ensure that the driller delivers the borehole as specified in the contract.

The supervisor is expected to display great professionalism in carrying out his or her duties. A good knowledge of geology, hydrogeology and borehole construction is essential. Although the supervisor represents the client, he or she is expected to act with honesty, impartiality and fairness in any dispute over the contract. Young drilling supervisors need to be supported by more experienced personnel.

The publication part of a series by RWSN on Cost Effective Boreholes alongside:

  • Code of Practice for Cost Effective Boreholes
  • Sustainable Groundwater Development: use, protect and enhance
  • Siting of Drilled Water Wells: A Guide for Project Managers
  • Costing and Pricing: A Guide for Water Well Drilling Enterprises
  • Procurement and Contract Management of Drilled Well Construction: A Guide for Supervisors and Project ManagersIt is assumed that readers will have access to the other documents, all of which are available on the RWSN website http://www-rural-water-supply.net.
  • This training manual is also available in French and Portuguese
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Costing and Pricing A Guide for Water Well Drilling Enterprises

This field note is written for water well drilling enterprises as well as other agencies which manage, or are involved in drilling projects. Using a step-by-step approach it gives clear guidance on how to cost and price the construction of drilled water wells. It also provides tips on business management with an emphasis of the realities faced in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Once you are familiar with this field note, you will be in a much stronger position to calculate drilling costs, consider prices and deal with business realities.

There are five distinct steps to costing and pricing: (1) the basic costs of running your business; (2) analysis of tender docu- ments; (3) setting out the cost components; (4) calculating your costs and (5) determining your price. Within each step a number of key issues need to be considered. Costs are broken down into siting, mobilisation, drilling, casing/completion, well devel- opment/pumping test and pump installation. Practical, worked examples enable the reader to easily follow the costing method. The field note sets out bills of quantities and considers how to deal with risks and uncertainties as well as the tender process. Key advice for effective management is also given.

The authors of this field note sincerely hope that it helps drilling enterprises to develop and flourish, and thus contributes to improving water supplies, particularly in the developing world.

Note that this is an update of the 2010 publication of the same name, with minor corrections.

This training manual is also available in French and Portuguese.

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Code of Practice for Cost Effective Boreholes

Sustainable groundwater development is fundamental in order to provide universal access to safe drinking water. This docu- ment, The Code of Practice for Cost Effective Boreholes provides a basis for the realisation of economical and sustainable access to safe water. The term “cost-effective” means optimum value for money invested over the long term. Boreholes are drilled to function for a lifespan of 20 to 50 years. Thus, the lowest cost is not always the most cost-effective, particularly if construction quality is compromised to save money. Cheap drilling or poor construction quality can lead to premature failure of the well or contamination of the water supply. Boreholes that are subse- quently abandoned by the users are clearly not cost-effective.

The Code of Practice sets out nine principles that relate directly to the practicalities of borehole construction (see below). They should be adhered to in order to provide cost-effective bore- holes. Each principle is broken down into sub-principles which recommend procedures to be followed and call for the defini- tion of and adherence to minimum standards.

The Code of Practice thus provides a framework to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of existing policies and practices. It is intended to be used as the foundation for the development of national protocols for cost-effective borehole provision. It pro- vides a basis for stakeholders to examine whether they are working in accordance with international practices, and it can be used by donors to examine funding conditionalities.

This training manual is also available in French.

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