Well Drilling

The demand for clean, safe water calls for well drilling. Many companies are involved in water well drilling to make a profit, but nonprofits like GFA World drill deep, efficient wells and provide free water for those most in need.

About 2 billion, or 1 out of 10 people, need access to safely managed drinking water; 771 million of them don’t have basic drinking water services.[1] At least one month a year, about 4 billion people face severe water scarcity.[2]

Meanwhile, global water use has been increasing at an average of 1% annually since the 1980s. It’s expected to continue to rise, ultimately leading to an increase of 20-30% above the current use.[3]

Lack of access to clean water perpetuates the cycle of poverty. African women living in poverty regularly walk 4 miles a day to retrieve this essential resource, transporting 40 pounds of water.[4] This steals time and energy from girls and women who could otherwise be attending school or working.

When piped water isn’t available to communities, the best option to provide access to clean, drinking water comes from wells. Proper water well drilling offers life-saving water to drink, cook with, wash with and water crops and farm animals.

In more primitive times, people dug wells by hand. But, they could only dig so deep; many of these shallow wells dried up, especially during droughts. They also lacked casing, which seals out contaminants.

These days, most wells are drilled with specialized equipment, like rotary bits. Well drilling also includes casing, which is a tube-shaped structure that extends into the earth to prevent contaminants from seeping into the well water. Casing also keeps the well open and safe from collapsing.

While the average residential well is only 100-300 feet deep,[5] GFA World drills Jesus Wells to depths of 600 feet or more. This ensures water continues to flow through the pumps every single day of the year, even during droughts.

According to the United Nations, “improving water resources management and providing access to safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all is essential to eradicating poverty, building peaceful and prosperous societies and ensuring the ‘no one is left behind’ on the roads toward sustainable development. These goals are entirely achievable, provided there is a collective will to do so.”[6]

How much to drill a well? »

For decades, GFA World has been ministering to the neediest in Asia by providing clean water, literacy training, medical care, education and more. Our Jesus Wells help break the cycle of poverty by freely providing clean water for around 300 people per day.

Suhana is just one of the tens of thousands of villagers GFA has helped by drilling Jesus Wells. Over 20 years ago, she moved to her husband’s village as a new bride a couple of years after GFA installed one of its first wells.

Suhana grew up in a rural area where families produced rice, vegetables and cotton. Ponds irrigated the fields and provided drinking water. But during the summer, they shriveled up to muddy holes. Sometimes, droughts became so extreme that the entire village had to relocate, leaving behind their crops and homes.

Before GFA installed a Jesus Well in Suhana’s husband’s community, villagers there faced the same problems Suhana had. Another organization had built a well in this particular village, but within months, it went from clean to brown, polluted water. No one was able to maintain the well, so it stood as a reminder of abandoned hope—a much-needed resource that didn’t work out.

GFA made sure this hope never dried up—or became contaminated—again. It built a deep well with proper casing to keep out pollutants. It trained the local church congregation to lubricate the pump and replace any necessary parts.

Suhana used the Jesus Well for everything from watering her crops and animals to cooking, drinking and washing dishes. Because her family’s basic needs were taken care of through the Jesus Well, she was able to earn extra income working at construction sites. Her children were able to attend school, rather than having to work in the fields to earn extra money or help collect water.

During summer droughts, the Jesus Well continues to provide clean water for not only Suhana’s village, but also nearby villages whose water supplies have dried up.

“This Jesus Well is more than sufficient for the entire village and also for some neighboring villages,” Suhana said. “It never dries up during summer, whereas many other water sources dry up. The more we draw water out of this well, the cleaner and purer the water comes out.”

“Anybody can install a well,” said one of the local workers, “but maintaining it for almost [20] years, where it still gives clean and good drinking water, it is not easy. That makes me very proud and happy.”[7]

The Jesus Well has brought health, stability and hope to Suhana’s community. Since then, a girls’ school has been built nearby so girls can receive a proper education rather than prepare to be married at such young ages as Suhana did.

Consider transforming lives and communities like Suhana’s by donating to Jesus Wells.

Learn more about the global water crisis

[1] World Health Organization and UNICEF. “Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2020: Five years into the SDGs.” Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 2021.
[2] “Leaving No One Behind: The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019.” By United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000367306/PDF/367306eng.pdf.multi. 2019.
[3] Ibid.
[4] “Water for Good: Building Sustainable Wells in the CAR.” Borgen Magazine. https://www.borgenmagazine.com/water-for-good-bringing-accessible-water-to-central-african-republic/. December 7, 2020.
[5] “Well Drilling Cost.” By Home guide. https://homeguide.com/costs/well-drilling-cost. Accessed March 16, 2022.
[6] “Leaving No One Behind: The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019.” United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000367306/PDF/367306eng.pdf.multi. 2019.
[7] “New Bride, New Well.” GFA. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/new-bride-new-village-new-well-wfr20-03/. March 2020.
* Cover Photo: MrGauravBhosle. “Water Crisis.” Wikimedia. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Water-crisis.jpg. May 22, 2016.