Say ‘No’ to borewells

Look at better options such as RWH and buying water

Waste of money: Cities could do without such scenes

It is cheaper not to get a borewell dug, than to have one. The borewell investment can actually earn money, if not spent on drilling the well. No client walking into our firm believes in this statement, until we present the facts.

The ecological disasters of too many borewells in Bangalore are already known, hence let us look at the cost implication first.

True cost

Borewells in Bangalore cost, complete for drilling, pipes, pumps and connections, anywhere around Rs. 1 lakh, depending upon the location, water depth and sub-soil rock condition.

Let us imagine we invest this money with medium returns, say around eight per cent per annum. We earn around Rs. 8,000 annually. Due to water scarcity, if we have to get a water tanker bringing in 6,000 litres in one trip every month, say 12 times a year, the cost of ordering tanker water is less than Rs. 4,000 annually, at an average cost of Rs. 300 per tanker. Our net saving is Rs. 5,000, with the investment of Rs. 1 lakh still intact!

Recently, a prospective client reported that his locality is rumoured to get only weekly supply of water. The household need for water is around 750 litres per day for a family of five, which we can average at 5,250 litres per week.

Even if a modest underground sump and overhead tank store 5,000 litres in one filling, the annual shortfall is 13,000 litres or equivalent of 22 tanker loads costing Rs. 6,600 only. We still save from the interest money and investment as well.

Many years ago, before this calculation dawned on me, even I would not have believed the mathematics. Since then, we have been able to convince scores of prospective house owners away from borewells.

If we add-on the rainwater harvest for household purposes, which we have preached for over eight years now, the borewell appears to be a sheer waste of money. Unless we are left with no other option, borewells are not a must.

During the 90s, few of our residential projects had the borewell dug even before the construction started. Due to various reasons like siltation, infrequent pumping out of water, proliferation of wells in the vicinity and such others, the wells today are no more usable.

Of course, the owners do not worry, for their water needs are anyway met with by other means!


Posted on July 3, 2010, in fundamentals. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks for this wonderful information dear Rajesh and Sathya.

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