Piped water in Kenya is supplied to 48% of the urban population and 15% of the rural ones. Despite having piped water the supply in Kenya is very erratic and water rationing is carried out. The traditional rain harvesting has also failed due to the four-year drought Kenya is facing and is expected to last at least two more years as such guaranteed water may necessitate the drilling of a borehole. In rural areas where the water table allows you may dig a well since the contamination risk is not as high as in urban areas. In urban areas, contamination risk is very high due to open sewers. The safest bet for guaranteed water supply is to drill a borehole.
Why get a hydrogeological survey
Drilling a borehole is an expensive affair as it involves specialized equipment and labor. The cost of drilling a borehole will normally range from Kshs 6,000 to Kshs 8,000 per meter. Given the rates and maybe a drilling depth of 100 meters you run a minimum of Kshs 600,000 just for drilling excluding other regulatory and approval costs. Investing such an amount without knowing what to expect is a very high risk to take. The hydrogeological survey report will help you make an informed decision on whether to drill or not. Hydrogeological survey costs in Kenya will generally range between Kshs 45,000 – Kshs 60,000.
The hydrogeological survey helps determine the depth and approximate quantities of underground water level at a particular location.
What happens during a hydrogeological survey
The survey will involve collecting any available relevant data (e.g. drilling logs), evaluating data from the surrounding boreholes, carrying out field geophysical measurements, and reviewing any available previous survey reports to form the hydrological and geophysical survey report which will be in accordance with the client’s preferences
Establishing the needs of the user regarding the location and quantity of groundwater required
The anticipated water volume from the recommended location
Study nearby boreholes to compare their water yield volume and if they will affect your borehole.
Evaluation of the quality of groundwater
Appraisal of the catchment area
Borehole construction and design recommendations
Assessment of risk to health or environment
The survey report will have the following deliverables and will be submitted to WARMA to get a license to drill.
What the survey will give the client
- The location in the coordinates where drilling is to happen. This is the exact location where drilling will occur.
- Approximate Drilling Depth – This is the depth where you expect to get water after drilling and will inform other decisions like pump and casing.
- Quantity of water/Yield of the borehole – This is the approximate amount of water you expect the borehole to give per hour or day.
- Geological formation- This is the bedrock where drilling will take place and determines the drilling process and will generally advise on casing material to be used.
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