There is a shortage of experienced hydrogeologists being engaged with groundwater supply projects due to: a low in-country hydrogeological capacity; and small numbers of hydrogeologists being employed by the charity sector.
The potential cost savings, through engaging more groundwater expertise in developing countries, is huge.
In addition to improving water point functionality, groundwater experts would also improve:
The volume of water that the well yields
A borehole that produces 5m3/h of water may be better value for money than one which only produces 1m3/h.
The quality of the water produced
There are many natural and human contaminants in groundwater. If a well is yielding poor quality water it may not be used by the communities that it was constructed for. Some contaminants such as arsenic and fluoride can result in long term ill health for the consumers.
The long term sustainability of the water source
The water abstracted from the well needs to be replaced through groundwater recharge to be sustainable.
The quality of data collected during drilling
The data collected during drilling can be used to aid future groundwater development and management. The data can also help diagnose future problems that may occur with the well.
The well's efficiency
A well's efficiency is dependent on how the well was constructed and developed. Wells with low efficiency provide less water and at a higher energy cost. This energy is paid for by the consumers.
The impact of the abstraction on the environment and other water users in the area
Abstracting groundwater can impact on others. Pumping groundwater can lower the water table resulting in the drying up of other nearby wells. Lowering groundwater levels can also reduce discharge of groundwater to surface water courses impacting on the surface water environment.
The safety procedures carried out to ensure that that the water point when constructed did not result in the degradation of the aquifer.
A borehole that is drilled into two or more aquifers can lead to waters from one aquifer flowing into the other if the borehole is not properly sealed. If one of the aquifers has poor water quality then this can result in the contamination of the other aquifer. Boreholes drilled close to the sea when pumped can suck saline water into fresh water aquifers destroying them.
Groundwater experts add value, if engaged on groundwater supply projects.