Boreholes – The solution or the problem?

Boreholes - water treatment - water tanks

With water rates on farms rising year on year coupled with the extreme weather that is becoming more and more frequent, alternative water supplies such as boreholes are at the fore front of many peoples minds.

What a difference 12 months makes, last summer we were in drought and this summer we had a months worth of rain in one day!

The simple answer seems to be to drill a borehole, however is this as simple and effective as it seems?

 

Boreholes are depleting our water resources

Extensive water abstraction from boreholes used to abstract groundwater are causing a big drain on our depleting water resources globally.

Climate change, population growth and over abstraction of ground water has caused a global water shortage due to effect half of the UK in 2020.

By 2050 the world’s population is expected to reach over 9 billion, 65% of the global population can expect to be exposed to water stress on some level.

Unfortunately, we are continuously exasperating the situation by our use of bore holes taking too much water from the natural underground aquifers.

Boreholes and wells dry up, so the common solution is to dig deeper or more boreholes.  This practice leads to more challenges the most common being the rising costs that appear after drilling.

 

Groundwater Contamination

Drilling hundreds of metres in to the ground presents challenges around lining the well properly, pumping back out of the well and contamination issues that arise as groundwater makes it way into the water supply.

A well that has a clear and constant supply at time of drilling can quickly turn in a matter of weeks in some cases to a well or borehole that is dry or is giving water of a quality that it does more harm than good.

The EA have made it clear that policy on borehole abstraction is changing, heavy investment has been made in technology to identify unlicensed wells, with heavy penalties being handed out to those without correct abstraction licenses.

In fact, The Environment Agency is already used light aircraft previously used to locate flood and coastal risks to seek out East Midlands farmers abstracting water without a licence.…

These boreholes will eventually dry up and the vicious circle depleting our natural resources continues. It can take hundreds of years for the depleted aquifers to replenish.

 

There is a simple solution!

It is simply easier to use water from the surface than it is to take it from underground.

Whilst there are some very simple and innovative water pumps on the market that are modern variations of old technology, like ram pumps as an example.

Ram pumps don’t require a power supply near the water source the real challenge and aim should be to create an easily maintained complete infrastructure.

A water system that provides a cost effective constant supply of clean, treated water that will give a tangible payback on investment.

 

Treated Water Solution

To do this there are multiple components needed, incorporating water storage, pumping, pipework and filtration.

It is possible to have a complete infrastructure providing free water to all parts of the farm with out the need for mains water or power, without the need for any abstraction licenses or the need to drill for water.

Stop using boreholes and abstracting groundwater and utilise available surface water from streams, rivers, lakes, springs, reservoirs or lagoons.

Think about the whole solution not individual parts of a problem!

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