At the recently concluded HWB BoD retreat we occasionally wandered away from vision and mission statements and 'lapsed' into discussions about water well drilling methods in remote areas of emerging regions.
One of the problems faced in such areas - especially mountainous terrain - is the lack of access for motorized well drilling rigs and the lack of supporting supplies (drilling mud, cement, gasoline, etc.). So what should be done, especially if surface water is not an option?
Manual well-drilling rigs are a potential solution. I can see some of my well-drilling friends cringing,
Last 31 July I posted about two manual water well drilling methods: the BYU method and the Terry Waller method or so-called 'Baptist' method. During our retreat John Cherry brought another one to my attention: that developed by Wolfgang E. Buchner in Bolivia. In fact, Buchner has developed more than a drilling method but a system - EMAS, a Mobile School for Water and Sanitation:
EMAS [Spanish acronym] is a Mobile School for Water and Sanitation based in Bolivia, and run by Wolfgang Eloy Buchner. EMAS is also a whole technical and social concept of water and sanitation which includes manual drilling, rain water harvesting, solar water heaters, wind power, hydraulic rams, water treatment, small tanks and sinks, a variety of hand and foot pumps, and ferrocement water storage tanks.
More movies are available in the second EMAS channel: vimeo.com/channels/emas2.
Here is a video introducing EMAS:
This movie gives an overview of all the technologies used in the EMAS concept: manual well drilling, hand-powered water pumps, pedal-powered water pumps, windmills, ferrocement tanks, spring catchment, latrines, solar heating, drip irrigation, hydraulic ram.
Buchner has about 20 years' experience with this approach. Those of us at the HWB retreat felt that this is an approach we need to learn more about.
Be sure to visit the vimeo site to view more videos.
"Much ingenuity with a little money is vastly more profitable and amusing than much money without ingenuity." - Arnold Bennett