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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