We had dug an open well & went to the depth of 20 ft & stopped work.

We stopped work, basically to take stock of the situation & more importantly to know if the depth of 20 ft is going to give us enough water storage to irrigate our 7 acres, whether the recharge is good, if not, do we need to dig deeper? Everything was quite confusing & muddled up in my head. Especially after the bitter experience with our bore well, plus i have no idea how these aquifers work etc. Also on one hand one feels the financial pinch but on the other hand one wants this to be done with & move on. To clear our confusions one day we requested Himanshu from Acwadam to accompany us to the farm.

Himanshu, from Acwadam

It was really nice of him to come over share with us all his experience & insights. Actually from the moment he stepped into our car in the morning till we dropped him off in the evening it was truly a masterclass for us. On aquifers in the area,  the futility of going for a deep bore well in the area, of ‘confined aquifers which are isolated from the atmosphere & which extends between two impermeable layers, a bit of geology, ground water, porosity & permeability,  the pumping test : to find out the amount of water that a well can supply on a specific period of time along with a definite decrease in its water level, the recharge points for this well, discharge points on the farm…….

While looking at & studying the open well: he showed us the the difference in the rock strata & the two different rocks which had come out during the blasting & he was clear in his opinion that we should dig deeper… till the rock strata changes.

Then we walked around the farm looking at the rain water channels & devising ways to recharge our aquifers. Again more insights from him opened up our eyes even more. We have Swales in our agenda for this year,  but he suggested we do Gabions also.

Plus we understood a few more things about our land vis-a-vis what are the recharge points & what are the discharge points. Another important discussion was about how to recharge our bore well with rain water & we got some ideas about a simple design.

Decision one was easy to take i.e about deepening our well. The only issue we had to face was that Himanshu had suggested that we wait till May to do it. But that was not going to be possible, because our access for heavy vehicles coming into the farm will be closed by then, since all the farmers in the neighbourhood would’ve prepared their fields for their rice crop.

So, we had to find a well digging gang to come again & do the work of deepening. Luckily for us one contractor had just finished digging a well in a village a few kilometres away & they readily agreed to come & do our work.

well digging

Here is the small crane clearing the debris from the blasting

well digging1

People clearing the debris inside the well, a high risk job, incase a small stone slips out of the bucket some one can be killed or maimed for life. Why aren’t they at least provided with helmets i wonder ?

well digging2

About 10 people were staying on the farm, they had their own tents & made their own food.

well digging3

Another snap shot of the crane pulling out the debris & the position of our well near the river

well digging5

After going down to about 15 ft more… we come across the change in rock strata which Himanshu had told us

the change in rock strata

According to him : The upper part of the well (below the soil and regolith-called murum) is compact basalt while the lower part is called a volcanic breccia (colourful) underlain by vesicular-amygdaloidal basalt. Both the basalts have cavities of secondary minerals like calcite, quartz and zeolites.

change in rock strata1

Here is the gift of nature

nature's gift

Water flowing in from four to five places in a semi circle formation like a tap. (‘bringing tears out of eyes also……sometimes one feels like going down on one’s knees & kissing the land)

nature's gift

very clear & sweet water

nature's gift1

Emptying the well takes about 2 hours with a 5 HP pump & it refills to the brim in about 5 hours.

Now that the digging is done & over with the next part of the work starts : i.e the making of a concrete wall for the top 13 ft. A few truck loads of cement, sand, steel etc have started to come in.

As of now there ain’t no respite !!