Borewells and Tubewells

India being an agrarian country, our farmers depend mainly on groundwater for irrigation. With increasing population, lesser land holdings and urbanisation, deeper borewells are dug for groundwater abstraction. Borewells & tubewells, are very similar. Both are basically vertical drilled wells, bored into an underground aquifer in the earths surface, to extract water for various purposes. The difference in the two lies in the type of casing used, the depth of this casing and the type of soil where they are drilled. Casing to support the external surfaces of the borehole against collapse may be needed at certain depths, and usually is made up of PVC pipes. Electrical pumps are usually used to pump out the water fro the borewells, though the government is now giving subsidy for solar pumps. This convenience of pumps may increase the depletion of the groundwater at an increased pace.

Our FAQ on borewells, deals in detail with topics ranging from the initial planning, selection of site to final commissioning, maintenance of the structure and problems associated with existing borewells,. Another Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on Groundwater - Understanding the basics, narrows down the existing knowledge gaps amongst the common groundwater users.

Excessive drilling of borewells has led to exploitation of groundwater at higher rates than the rate of water recharge and caused depletion of the groundwater levels. To monitor this many states like Karnataka & Kerala have come up with laws & a statutory authority to regulate and keep tabs on the groundwater utilisation. Some states have implemented groundwater legislation acts which prevent drilling of borewells without the permission of Government Bodies in water scarce regions. However, some states allow only drilling of drinking water borewells without the need for obtaining permission. Therefore, it is advisable to explore the details of it before drilling a borewell.

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has come with reports on the groundwater status in the country. Uncontrolled use of bore well technology leads to exploitation of groundwater at higher rates than the rate of water recharge, which may cause drastic depletion of groundwater. 

  • The water crisis in Karnataka has not only led to severe agrarian distress in the eastern plains region but also created an acute shortage of domestic water, in both rural and urban areas. The 21st century has seen significant changes in demography, economy and agriculture, increasing the demand for...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 days 1 hour agoread more
  • Like in many parts of India, Karnataka’s groundwater is a vital source of irrigation water, but has been depleted by a combination of a prolonged, multi-year drought and intensive extraction. Worsening agro-climatic and environmental conditions are threatening the incomes of smallholder farmers an...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 week 3 days agoread more
  • India, a groundwater stressed country India is the largest user of groundwater in the world and is experiencing an alarming depletion of its groundwater resources with withdrawal rates being much higher than replenishment. Evidence shows that India's dependence on groundwater has increased followin...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 week 5 days agoread more
  • Centre approves Atal Bhujal Yojana, worth Rs 6,000 croreConsidering the acute groundwater shortage in the country, the Union Cabinet has approved the Atal Bhujal Yojana with a total outlay of Rs 6,000 crore to manage the critical resources of water through multiple activities. The scheme, that wi...
    swatiposted 3 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • Sustainable development goals index 2019-20: India's composite score improvesThe list of states that have topped in the sustainable development goals index 2019-20 are Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Also, the index revealed that Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim h...
    swatiposted 3 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • Groundwater contamination has emerged as an alarming issue in India and a recent UN report reveals that India ranks 120th among the 122 countries in terms of water quality index. As high as 70 percent of the water supply in India is contaminated, resulting in nearly 0.2 million deaths each year. Po...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 weeks 2 days agoread more
  • Agriculture the largest consumer of groundwater in India Agriculture consumes the largest share of groundwater in India - the biggest user of groundwater in the world. The past few decades have witnessed an alarming depletion of groundwater resources in the country. While almost half of the agricul...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 month 6 days agoread more
  • Cyclone Bulbul causes devastation in West Bengal and Odisha Hitting the coast of India and Bangladesh on November 9th, the deadly Cyclone Bulbul has claimed twenty lives, displaced two million people and destroyed houses in West Bengal and Bangladesh. The storm brought torrential rains and strong w...
    swatiposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Pune continues to face a water crisis every summer despite having sufficient water, thanks to its geographical location and plentiful natural water assets. While enough of its water needs are taken care of by water supply from the Khadakwasla dam, the use of groundwater to meet the needs of the popu...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 months 1 day agoread more
  • The Water Future Conference in Bangalore last week, saw many from the scientific community, academia, research, civil society and the media come together to discuss the state of water resources across the world and in India, as well as future pathways and scenarios, and different technological and i...
    priyadposted 3 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Pandutalav, a small quiet village nestled in the dry teak forests in the tribal pocket in Dewas boasts an authentic rural way of life. This little dot on the map is known for its attempts to introduce indigenous varieties of crops, in particular pearl millet these days. Mahila Jagat Lihaaz Samiti (M...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Peri urban spaces swept up in the urbanisation tangle Urban growth and expansion of cities is increasing the demand for land and water, increasing pressure on resources available not only in urban, but also in peri-urban areas. State policies often use peri-urban spaces and resources to meet the ne...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • We have 235 feet borewell at home and we use texmo compression motor to pump. We observed that the water is not pumped up to the water tank from past few days. We could see meagre water in tank even if motor is running for more than an hour. We already had a borewell with 90ft depth and since there ...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • Hello, I have a new borewell in Tumkur, Kallambella, where I have received water of 1.5 inches at a depth of 1050 feet borewell. A further depth of 75 feet was dug, so the total depth of borewell is at 1050 feet. I am planning for agricultural work in this 3 acres piece of land. Considering the amo...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • I have a borewell depth of 650 ft and I have fixed a 3hp 40 stage single phase Texmo pump, because of the silt the pump run only once and its not running now. What should I do now to pump the water. Is there any way to use the same pump by doing any process or should I go for compressor pump. If yes...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Does borewell recharge requires removal of submersible pump? 
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • While most parts of the country are facing a water crisis, here’s a case from the arid state of Rajasthan, where decentralized initiatives are solving water issues. Dungarpur in southern Rajasthan has exemplified how community participation with local level planning processes are working towards i...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • How to lift broken motor from a borewell at 400ft depth?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • We have a borewell of 1120 ft and from the day we have installed motor excess sand coming out with water. Initally we had put 20 Hp pump and motor at 300 ft, delivery 3 inch but the pump got damaged in 7 days due to sand. Then we put new pump of 20 hp and that also got damaged after 10-12 days &...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Team Malhar, students of Water Policy and Governance (WPG) and alumni of Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai in partnership with RRA Network proudly present the third annual session of "WATER TALK SERIES" on 7th September, 2019 at TISS, Mumbai The Water Talk Series was started in 2017 with t...
    priyadposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more

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The Karnataka Jnana Aayoga (KJA) set up a Task Group to draft a new water policy for Karnataka in December 2017 and the report is now in public domain. What are the suggestions that the report makes?

The water crisis in Karnataka has not only led to severe agrarian distress in the eastern plains region but also created an acute shortage of domestic water, in both rural and urban areas. The 21st century has seen significant changes in demography, economy and agriculture, increasing the demand for water in the state. Expanding irrigation and urbanisation, possibly have also had a negative impact on river basins and water conflicts are seeing a rise in the state. All these developments have substantially complicated and aggravated the water challenges in Karnataka.

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A study looks at how households adapt to slow-moving environmental changes such as groundwater depletion.

Like in many parts of India, Karnataka’s groundwater is a vital source of irrigation water, but has been depleted by a combination of a prolonged, multi-year drought and intensive extraction. Worsening agro-climatic and environmental conditions are threatening the incomes of smallholder farmers and hampering the continued progress in poverty eradication.

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Gujarat shows good groundwater storage while Rajasthan shows severe groundwater depletion, inspite of both states in western India receiving good rainfall. Why is this so?

India, a groundwater stressed country

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Policy matters this week

Centre approves Atal Bhujal Yojana, worth Rs 6,000 crore
Considering the acute groundwater shortage in the country, the Union Cabinet has approved the Atal Bhujal Yojana with a total outlay of Rs 6,000 crore to manage the critical resources of water through multiple activities.

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News this week

Sustainable development goals index 2019-20: India's composite score improves

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This unique low cost fluoride removal technology is not only affordable, but is also easy to operate as a water treatment filter with high efficiency suitable for rural application.

Groundwater contamination has emerged as an alarming issue in India and a recent UN report reveals that India ranks 120th among the 122 countries in terms of water quality index. As high as 70 percent of the water supply in India is contaminated, resulting in nearly 0.2 million deaths each year.

Poisoned waters: Fluoride contamination of groundwater

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A study from Gujarat finds that micro-irrigation combined with metered power led to a reduction in uncontrolled groundwater extraction by farmers.

Agriculture the largest consumer of groundwater in India

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News this week

Cyclone Bulbul causes devastation in West Bengal and Odisha

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Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour.

Pune continues to face a water crisis every summer despite having sufficient water, thanks to its geographical location and plentiful natural water assets. While enough of its water needs are taken care of by water supply from the Khadakwasla dam, the use of groundwater to meet the needs of the population continues to increase.

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The recently concluded 4 day conference in Bangalore looked at the current state of global water resource challenges & future pathways to achieve the SDGs, while ensuring equity in access to all.

The Water Future Conference in Bangalore last week, saw many from the scientific community, academia, research, civil society and the media come together to discuss the state of water resources across the world and in India, as well as future pathways and scenarios, and different technological and institutional solutions to accelerate the implementation of the water SDGs and the 2030 Agenda targets, leaving no one behind.

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