Water bores are a problem in California due to the increased demand for potable water. The number of water bores incidents has been steadily increasing in the last ten years and it is believed that this has been caused by groundwater pumping being done to meet state requirements. This pumping causes an increase in the water table, which, in turn, causes an increase in the demand for water. As a result, Californian reservoirs are low and this is the main reason why there is an over-supply of water in relation to natural capacity. This shortage is resulting in an increase in the price per gallon of potable water.
One of the most important things that can be done to reduce this problem is to reduce or eliminate the use of water bores. Water bores dig holes into the earth’s surface, exposing a layer of gravel to be pumped out along with the original aquifer. This increased flow of water is channeled to meet the demand, with the gravel leaving the area between holes being compacted and carried away with the water. This compacted gravel, plus any residue of the original aquifer, add to the thickness of the layer of gravel and increases the permeability of the aquifer, allowing groundwater stored beneath this layer to escape easily into the environment.
One problem with using groundwater from this type of environment is that it requires a large investment of both time and money. Time, because it takes time for the water bores to complete their digging and pumping and the cost of drilling and pumping can add up to be very expensive. Money, because of the amount of water needed, will have to be invested in buying new supplies of groundwater before the existing supply is exhausted. Another drawback of using groundwater from this environment is that the quality of the groundwater is lost in the purification process and any trace of naturally occurring minerals can be lost at the source.
A better way to handle an underground aquifer is through the use of casing or a well. Casing is the installation of a thin layer of plastic, metal or other material above and around an underground aquifer, keeping water from escaping and providing a barrier for water to enter. There are a few different types of casing available for use under various conditions; however, well construction is by far the most effective. Well, construction requires a combination of well maintenance, pumping and casing as well as the use of other technology, such as pressure pumping equipment, to allow water to be pulled freely into the well.
Well, construction requirements are not all that difficult. The location and topography of an underground aquifer will be taken into account during the planning phase. All potential water bores that may be required are then located according to local building standards and regulations and all necessary precautions for their safe installation are taken. Depending on the age and condition of the aquifer and the amount of pressure used to pump it, different types of bore construction standards are used.
An excellent resource for any individual who needs to learn more about water bore drilling is the internet. In the author’s own words,” groundwater access and bore drilling are the foundation of responsible groundwater management.” As a result of my decades of experience in the industry, I hope to provide some new ideas and technologies that have been developed over the years, especially in the last 10 years that will prove to be beneficial to any user or operator who is concerned with quality control and management of their groundwater resources.