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Ratnagiri, Maharashtra: Regarding Borewell, methods to ensure yield/strike water: Well or Borewell?

On 2nd of May 08 , We drilled borewell upto 300 feet in my 14 acre plot (location Tal Chiplun, At post Terav, Dist Ratnagiri, State maharashtra) but there was no water. We had finalised these spot by traditional ways ( we did check ( Water availabilty Spot) plot with 2 different person at different time, who had suggested 3-4 spots but there was 1 common spot, for which both have given assusrance that there is water at 150 feet, but we need to dig till 250. We digged till 300 feet  but there was no water.

At 3 minutes walk from my plot (at same ground level) there is well which has water (throughout the year) at 45 feet.

I would like to know :

1. What are the reasons for failure of this 300 feet drill?

2. Is there is any scientific/general method which can tell that about what should be the max feet drill?

3. Is there is chance that there will be water after 300 feet in the same drilled borwell?

4. Is there is any other way where we can extend the feets for this drilled borewell?

5. Should I take another chance of having another borwell in the same plot ( by going scientific method: ie paying 5000 to borewell      

    company who will check my 1 acre plot by their machines & then comany will tell us whether checked  plot has water or not. If there   

    is water, then they will drill.  if they drilled & if there is no water then they wont charge for drilling apart from rs 5000)

6. What will be most recommendable whether drilled borwell or well & Why?

Satish Vinayak Kadam




Availability of water in a location depends on the geological conditions and it varies quite significantly from place to place within an area.

Use of geo-physical survey method helps to know the availability of water to a better extent than the traditional methods.

Contact reliable Hydrogeologists working in the area. The Government ground water department in the area can also provide you some help.

The offer, that no money will be charged for drilling for a failed borewell, exists in many places. but, it is better to determine the credibility of such companies. Also, work out a rough cost estimate before entering into a agreement with such companies so that you are not unduly charged hefty amount later.

Always comparison of the costs and the details of the terms and conditions with other companies would give you a better picture.


It is not clear from the description of Satish whether the successful well near to his land is a large-diameter dug well or a bore well with water table at 46 feet from ground level throughout the year and whether his interest was to have a similar well constructed in his land.

If it is a dug well, it must have been constructed fairly long ago and constructing a similar well now is going to be prohibitively costly and time consuming.

If it is a bore well, he must be wondering why his bore well was dry when the other bore well is high-yielding.

Groundwater occurs in pore spaces within unconsolidated formations and weathered rocks under water table conditions at shallow depths and in pipeline-like structures within hard rocks under artesian or semi-artesian conditions at greater depths. While groundwater occurring under water table conditions can be best exploited through large-diameter dug wells, bore wells are best suited to tap deep groundwater within hard rocks. Because of high lateral and vertical variations in the occurrence of groundwater, it is not uncommon for nearby dug/bore wells to have high differences in yields. This can be known from the idealised diagram shown at

Electrical resistivity surveys are best suited to know the thickness of the shallow aquifer under water table conditions and location of pipeline-like structures occurring within hard rock. The survey also helps to know whether it is better to have a dug well or a bore well besides fixing the maximum depth to which the well should be constructed.

It is not possible for the water diviners to obtain so much information mentioned above. This doesn't mean that geophysicists succeed always. There are also cases when water diviners succeeded and geophysicists failed.

If a geophysical survey by the side of his failure bore well proves the existence of a pipeline structure beyond 300 feet, he can deepen the well and make it a successwell well.

It is not clear whether the non-refundable fee of the bore well company for testing is Rs. 5000 per acre or Rs. 5000 for his entire land of 14 acres. If it is Rs. 5000 per acre, it costs Rs. 70,000.

He can hire the services of the bore well company if the non-refundable fee is only Rs. 5000 to locate the best site for a bore well in his entire 14-acre land. Before entering into agreement with the bore well company, both the parties should be clear when the bore well drilled will be treated as successful. The bore well should give enough water (that is, at least 2" delivery water in driller's language) for using it for irrigation. If the yield is less, it becomes not feasible to use the water for irrigation and the well should be treated as a failure.

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao
Former Professor of Geology
Sri Venkateswara University
Tirupati, AP 517502

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Professor of Geology Retired, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, AP 517502, India


[b]The Questioner writes back with feedback and a request for more information![/b]

This time I had hired a person who determines water spot on the basis earth resistivity Meter. Who checked my 2 acre plot. Where he has identified 3 spots.

Spot 1 : Where there is water at 3 different level 250, 340 & 52o & (Water Size will be 1.25 inch). He has advised us to go for drill up to 550. I checked with all local borewell companies (Ratnagiri & Chiplun), but no company has equipments where they can drill up to 550, they advised to check at Pune as they can drill up to max 400

Spot 2 : Where there is water at 45 feet, (Water Size will be 0.75 inch) he has advised to go for well & not for borewell, as drilling vibration my change the water flows.

Spot 3 : He checked failed (300 Feet) borewell, (Water Size will be 0.75 inch) where he has identified water at next 25 & 75 feets ( 300+25 & 300+75), he has advised to go for blasting.

My Queries are as follows:

Spot1 : Suppose I could manage to drill up to 550, then will I get water of all these 3 Levels, What does mean by water size 1.25 inch…Please tell me Total Liters in a Day.
Is it advisable to go for such long drill ?

Spot2 : Suppose I decide to go for digging well, what will be cost of construction? If after 10 feet there is hard rock up to next 40 feet, then cost of construction will get increased? What if I decide to go for drilling a borwell as to check is there a really water at 45Feet & then I will decide whether to go for dug well.

Spot3 : Can blasting resolve this problem? I did drill this borewell on 2nd of May & I found there is some water in this borewell (checked with throwing stone). If I set hand-pump, is there is chance to get water after rainy season till December.

4. Dear Satish, I suggest the

Dear Satish,

I suggest the following course of action.

1. Your 300-feet dry bore well has now become water-bearing. You may get some idea of what this means from a similar dry bore well that became water-bearing in Hyderabad at:

2. Your geophysicist has predicted two water-bearing fractures at 325 and 375 feet from surface in your 300-feet defunct bore well. You may hire the services of your old driller to deepen your old well to 400 feet. If you are lucky, the bore well gives you some usable water. How much water the well discharges in litres per minute can be determined by actually finding the time required for the pumped water to fill up a container of known volume.

3. Only when enough water is not obtained, you may consider improving the yield by borehole blasting as suggested by your geophysicist. You may get further information on borehole blasting at

You may particularly read the advice by Dr. Anil Lalwani, a Pune-based Hydrogeology Consultant and former Proprietor of Well & Water Works on Development of Groundwater Resources. His Ph.D. thesis from the University of Pune was a compilation of his work as a Consultant.

4. If by chance you don't get the requisite water despite carrying out improvements to your defunct bore well, you may then consider constructing a dug well at Spot 2 for a depth of 45 feet. The fact that your geophysicist recommended a dug well rather than a bore well at this site is an indication that soft disintegrated rock (weathered basalt) carrying groundwater under unconfined (or water table) conditions occurs at this site till a depth of 45 feet is reached and no water-bearing pipeline-like structure occurs beyond that depth.

The existence of a 45-feet dug well with good yield near to your land is an indication that you may get comparable yield by constructing a dug well at this site. You may contact your geophysicist to assure you that soft rock rather than hard rock occurs at this site till a depth of 45 feet is reached. Once you decide to construct a dug well, you can know the construction cost from a local well digger.

5. As no local driller can drill a 550-feet bore well at Spot 1, you have to anyhow hire the services of a driller at Pune for the purpose. Before doing that, you may contact Bharat Mane, Proprietor, Well & Water Works, Pune at 98222-92545 for taking a decision.

6. Although the geophysical method does not indicate the yield expected from a well, your geophysicist has predicted a 1.25-inch discharge if bore well is constructed at Spot 1 and 0.75-inch if constructed at Spot 2 or 3. Yield is expressed in this way by drillers to indicate the diameter of a pipe from which water could get discharged from a bore well with full force. Unless a bore well gives a 2-inch yield, the water cannot be directly used for irrigation.

When a bore well gives less discharge, it is better to construct a dug well so that the water discharging into the well for 24 hours gets stored for getting pumped in a few hours time in a day to irrigate the land.

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao Retired Professor of Geology Sri Venkateswara University Tirupati, AP 517502

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Professor of Geology Retired, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, AP 517502, India

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