The living wisdom: Using local well driller knowledge to construct digital groundwater data bases – A report by CAREWATER

carewaterThe report by Carewater INREM Foundation draws inferences from studies across the Indo-Gangetic Basin on using local well driller knowledge to construct digital groundwater databases. The low density of current groundwater instrumentation networks in the region is both cost and management intensive, contrary to local knowledge, which has greater spatial coverage and can be obtained at a relatively lower cost. An efficient way to tap such local groundwater knowledge is through well drillers. 

The study documents how in Vaishali, Bihar a new methodological approach is being used to identify and sensitize well drillers towards creating a local groundwater database. A localized lithology of Chakramdas village is created using both experiential knowledge and current practice of these drillers.

Though subjective and tangible sources of uncertainty enter into this process, the compiled knowledge is shown to be verifiable and cost-effective. There is a potential for upscaling this approach and creating accurate regional groundwater databases at low cost. 

Not only do the well drillers possess knowledge of lithology and water bearing layers, but their perception of groundwater quality in localized settings was also observed, though not described in this paper. The study succeeded in extracting lithological and other information that drillers possess and in translating it into a local digital database of groundwater lithology. 

The study was able to create multiple, equally likely, aquifer maps using the advanced geo-statistical 18 software and thereby give a measure of uncertainty to the process and the probability of occurrence of specific lithological layers. 

Download the paper here:

 

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