Note: Links to specific information on Manual Drilling are on a separate website.

Every well that is drilled, and every pump installed should be undertaken in a professional manner. The drilling data should be used to improve understanding of groundwater resources. Over the last decade, RWSN has published and disseminated guidelines and animated films, hosted several webinars and supported face-to-face training courses to improve professional water well drilling.

RWSN materials have been used to improve projects and have been incorporated into the curricula of some academic and training organisations. Specific initiatives to raise drilling professionalism are underway in a number of countries by key international organisations.

Issues that need to be addressed in many countries include poor quality implementation, use of inferior products, corruption, rogue drilling contractors, little knowledge of borehole drilling, capacity gaps by districts and lengthy contracting procedures. It is recognised that targeted efforts are required to enable the wealth of knowledge available to be systematically embedded into policy and implementation. 

What is the Professional Water Well Drilling topic trying to achieve?

  • Outcomes by 2023:
    • Skills and knowledge of water well drilling and its management raised.
    • National (or state) policies, regulation, standards and procedures for borehole drilling improved.
    • Better investments to improve and sustain professional groundwater development.
  • Aims by 2030, water well drilling and pump installation is undertaken in a professional manner, with the groundwater data generated used to improve the understanding of groundwater resources.

Do you want to improve drilling professionalism in your country or organisation?

  • Learn more about how to raise borehole drilling professionalism from the key publications, videos and links below.
  • Develop and run a training course.
  • Volunteer with RWSN as a young professional (under 36 years of age).
  • Share your experience and ask questions on the RWSN Online Groundwater Community.
  • Publish a blog for RWSN or a more detailed publication about your experiences.

If you are interested in any of the above, and would like to communicate with the RWSN theme leadership directly, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Key publications, videos and useful links:

Professional Water Well Drilling – A Guidance Note (English & French) – written for those who manage or support water well drilling programmes and projects. Provides guidance on project design, implementation and monitoring; groundwater information; capacity; institutional frameworks; investment; and dialogue and awareness.


Borehole Drilling – Planning, Contracting & Management: A UNICEF Toolkit - guides UNICEF programme and supply staff through the life of a project. It follows a logical sequence on UNICEF procurement practices and provides recommendations on processes, evaluation criteria, contract provisions, generic bill of quantities, terms of reference and contractual approaches to seek technical services for siting of boreholes, borehole construction and supervision of construction works.


Four animated films on borehole drilling professionalism (English and French) – explain siting, drilling supervision, contract management and why some boreholes are better than others in five minutes.


RWSN Guidance Documents on Professional Drilling (in English, French and Portuguese) on siting, borehole costing and pricing, procurement and contract management, drilling supervision, code of practice for cost-effective boreholes)


Country Assessments of drilling professionalism (for Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia).


Publications on Borehole Drilling Professionalism on the RWSN website (English, French, Portuguese).


Films and webinar recordings on various aspects of drilling professionalism including procurement, supervision, tackling corruption, siting, training.


Blogs describing efforts taken to improve cost-effective boreholes and professional drilling from around the world.


National groundwater and drilling regulations, standards, guidelines and manuals for Chad, Nigeria, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Zambia.

 Completed Training Activities


Online course on professional drilling management (2018)

by Skat Foundation, UNICEF and UNDP Cap-Net (report, blog and course materials).


Angola - short course on Procurement, Contract Management and Costing and Pricing (2017)

by Skat Foundation and UNICEF (report).

Madagascar - short course on drilling techniques and supervision (2018)

by UNICEF (blog, French & English Report).


Malawi - short course on Water Supply Borehole Drilling Supervision (2018)

by the Climate Justice Fund (film and report)


Sierra Leone - short courses on siting, procurement and contract management and costing and pricing of water well drilling (2013 & 2014)

by Skat Foundation (report)Associations and networks.


Zambia - short course on procurement, costing and pricing and contract administration (2016)

by Skat Foundation and UNICEF (report)

Short course on drilling supervision (2018)

by Skat Foundation and UNICEF (report and film). 

 If you have also run similar courses, and have reports that you can share online, please let us know on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can try to share these experiences through RWSN.

Associations and networks

  • RWSN is currently (2018) compiling information about driller and groundwater consultant associations and networks. If you are a member of a national or local association, please let us know so that we can include this information on this website on the future. You can send a mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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