The blog of Alvaro Boiero

"Live as if you were going to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were going to live forever" Mahatma Gandhi

The blog of Alvaro Boiero


"Live as if you were going to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were going to live forever" Mahatma Gandhi

Project of wells for groundwater extraction

The construction of deep wells for groundwater extraction is an activity that is often linked to informal practices, which do not always follow the stipulations of current regulations. However, it is a very complex activity, so that giving it an "engineering project" approach can be very convenient for the long-term exploitation of the aquifer.


What is an engineering project

Let's start by reviewing what an engineering project is. There are many definitions of project, and many elements can be included as part of an engineering project. However, for the sake of simplifying the definition and focusing it on what we are interested in, it can be said that, basically, an engineering project is a work in which we define:


  1. A beginning and an end, i.e., a schedule.
  2. A desired result, whereby the scope and objectives are specified.
  3. What are the quality requirements related to the completion of the work (in this case, the deep well for water extraction).
  4. What is the cost associated with the different activities to be performed, so a budget is defined, which frames in numbers the project (both in quantities of work, as in price).
  5. The conditions of the executor - client relationship, which are summarized in a contract or service order, i.e., in a written agreement.


Figure 1 shows schematically the different elements that constitute an engineering project.


According to the above, considering a deep well as an engineering project implies that the execution of the work is limited in time, that it is completely defined with a precise scope, that the delivery conditions are established in terms of the quality of the works and the price (which is the budget), and that everything is framed within a contract.

Figure 1 Elements that make up an engineering project.

Thus, the conditions under which the well will be executed are fully defined and accepted between the parties. This, of course, speeds up the development of the project, establishes a framework for possible negotiations (e.g. due to a technically necessary change of scope), and, in general, strengthens trust between the parties.

What is a deep water well

We have already seen a basic definition of an engineering project, but now it is worth asking: what is a deep water well?


If we look for the definition in the technical literature, we find that a deep well is a borehole drilled in the ground, to depths greater than 30 m, whose objective is to intercept an aquifer, for the purpose of supplying human consumption or some industrial activity.


To this definition it should be added that a collection pipe and a gravel filter must be installed in the borehole, and that a submersible motor and pump are placed inside the collection pipe, to which a suction pipe is connected to transport the water extracted from the subsoil to the storage area.


In addition, as illustrated in Figure 2, it is worth mentioning that a deep well for water extraction is, first and foremost, an engineering work.

Figure 2 Parts of a deep water well.

Therefore, being an engineering work, the execution of a deep well involves analysis, calculations, estimates and technical decision making, so that the well is safe and functional during its useful life.

The deep water well as an engineering project

Since we have already clarified that a deep well is, above all, an engineering work, which also has its project, it is possible to group the activities associated with the construction of a deep well for groundwater extraction in 4 phases, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 Phases of deep water well project.

PHASE 0 includes a hydrogeological evaluation of the area where the deep well will be constructed. PHASE I includes the initial drilling of the well to the stipulated depth and some complementary activities that will allow the design of the well as such. PHASE II, on the other hand, includes the expansion and construction of the well. And PHASE III, contemplates the installation of the submersible motor and pump appropriate for the characteristics of the well, in addition to the civil facilities necessary for its operation.


In future posts we will delve into the different phases that make up the execution project of a deep well for water extraction. For now, as you can deduce from what we have seen so far, the execution of a well is a complex task. And precisely for that reason, it can be very convenient to consider this activity as an engineering project.


  • De Sola, O. (1967) “Hidrología y Propiedades de los Acuíferos”. Tema II de la obra Desarrollo de Aguas Subterráneas. Programa de Educación en Ingeniería Sanitaria de la Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas, Venezuela.
  • Powers, P.; Corwin, A.; Schmall, P. & Kaeck, W. (2007) “Construction Dewatering and Groundwater Control”. Third Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New Jersey, USA.

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