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. 

  • 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 11 months 4 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 12 months 4 hours agoread more
  • We had dug a borewell in February and it yielded water. But we did not use the borewell for 6 months and now the bore well has dried up ( even after the rains of July). Is there a possibility to revive the borewell?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 7 hours agoread more
  • Hi, We are a housing society in Parel, Mumbai. In may 2019, we drilled a borewell until 250 ft and got 2.5 inch water, reasonably good quality with tds 1100. We dug a ringwell around this borewell (19 feet depth), and connected our terrace (4000 sqft) and podium (10000 sqft) to this ringwell. After...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 18 hours agoread more
  • I am having unused borewell of depth 350 feet and 8inches dia. We left the borewell unused for more than 10 years for less water & drought. And surrounding water table gone up to 500 feet, 600 feet, 700 feet deep. Suddenly we checked the borewell, we came to know that the borewell has water at 2...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 day agoread more
  • I am planning to buy a land in Chennai. The developer says each plot owner have to build septic tank for sewage and also borewell for drinking water. Will the grey water from the septic tank leak and pollute the borewell. There are multiple plots. I want to know how to protect borewell water, as it ...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 4 days agoread more
  • Hello, My three year old borewell with 450 depth is now getting black and yellow colour, smelly water. Kindly guide me how we can fix this? I have no other source for water. Will bore cleaning help? Pls guide me (the neighbouring house 500 meter away from me is selling water but they never faced th...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • Hi, I have a Agricultural land in Kothapet village, Rangareddy district in Telangana. I dug three bores but I could not find any water. Can you suggest whom I can contact for survey in bore point.
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • Floods are an annual phenomenon in Assam. They are as integral to the state as the Brahmaputra River is, and each monsoon, we are reminded that Assam exists (or is drowning). As I write this piece, Assam is slowly recovering from the first wave of flood this monsoon. For several weeks, the entire st...
    priyadposted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • I have dug a 918 feet borewell. The motor is 5 HP 50 stages. Water tank is at 65 feet above ground level and total hose pipe length required is 1000 feet. Please advise me what is the optimal inner diameter of the hose pipe I need to use in the motor? One plumber is saying 1.25 inch some others are ...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • Vishwanath Srikantaiah, popularly known as the 'Rainman', has been in the news recently for his ambitious project to build one million recharge wells in Bengaluru. Given the dire situation we find ourselves in vis-à-vis water, the initiative could not have come at a better time. While Vishwanath h...
    priyadposted 1 year 3 weeks agoread more
  • Water in my borewell at 50 ft depth has changed to deep yellow in colour. Pls suggest what to do?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 3 weeks agoread more
  • The motor in my borewell got stuck and mechanic tried to pull it up using pulley but it didn’t worked. They used pressure pump also and declared it might be caused by landslide internally and it cannot be retrieved. It is a new bore and also mechanic mentioned that 4mm pipe might have been used an...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 3 weeks agoread more
  • Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi based non-profit has rated the country’s fertilizer sector on several parameters, in a first of its kind study. The rating, done over an 18-month-long process, covered 28 of the 32 functional fertilizer units in the country. The findings of thi...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 3 weeks agoread more
  • Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) is organizing the Indian National Groundwater Conference (INGWC-2020) to discuss 'Groundwater Resources Management for Sustainable Development with the Special Emphasis on Coastal and Urban Environment’ at CWRDM, Koz...
    prijuposted 1 year 4 weeks agoread more
  • Diviner mentioned water table 250- 300 ft. Borewell depth = 500 feet. Dia. 6.5 inch. Strata weathered rock. During drilling no water seen. 1 day, water column height was 112 ft, 3 days: 156.5 ft, 4 days:192 ft, and 5 days: 220 ft. We would be happy to get 750 liters per shift x 2...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • If the water pump is not used for a long time, will it stop working? If so how often should I use the pump?
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • This summer I had the incredible opportunity, to work with the Tata Trusts and their Tata Water Mission (TWM) initiative, exploring avenues to provide scalable water access to stakeholders in rural communities. TWM is one of the Trusts’ flagship initiatives in India, at the forefront of ensuring...
    priyadposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Hi, Ours is a gated community with 160 apartments covered around 1.5 Acres in Thoraipakkam, OMR, Chennai. We digged borewell in our apartment. It was manual borewell and no machine used. Borewell guys stopped digging at 26 feet due to presence of salt water. We have placed rings around the bore but...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Hi, We live in triplicane Chennai, our previous borewell was 60 feet and water was good. My neighbor drilled bore for 200 feet then suddenly next day our borewell went dry and the problem starts, so we planned to drill new bore for 250 feet with same contractor who drilled bore for our neighbor. He...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 month agoread more

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Dear sir,

How can I recharge groundwater where after 14ft only rock is there and no soil is present. How will the water get recharged?

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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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Dear Team,

Recently I constructed my house and the construction work is almost at the end stage. I plan to dig a borewell in my house, however, there isn't any space for it. Moreover, I fear of cracks to develop because of the digging work which might impact my basement as well. I have a space of only 3 feet and there is also a water sump near the space. Please suggest, if I dig a borewell, will it damage my sump? 

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I have borewell, around 300 ft depth, which s being used from past five years.1 HP submersible pump is fitted, but suddenly the motor is running and water is not pumping out to tank, is there any dryness of well? What would be the reason and what steps I need to take to resolve this problem.

Regards Malik

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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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