Articles & Case Studies

Water scarcity & demand

Posted: Thursday 6th March 2014

Water scarcity is one of the most challenging issues in the 21st century and the lack of clean water and adequate sanitation has devastating effects. The range of water and sanitation related diseases- include cholera, guinea worm disease, bilharzia and intestinal worms but one of the most pernicious is diarrhoea – claiming the lives of 1.8 million people per year, 90% of which are children under five. Through its Millenium Campaign, the United Nations is working to reduce the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015 by 50% and is being aided to reach this goal by many international organisations and government departments. According to the World Bank only 47% of Nigeria’s population have access to improved sources and drinking water of the highest quality.

Alliance Borno state & Dando Drilling International

Groundwater is considered to be the predominant source of new water supply. For this reason, the Nigerian government is investing significant resources in tackling water scarcity by drilling new water wells, according to Borno State Commissioner for Water Resources Ahmed Mai Sheriff.

The Borno Rural Water Supply (BRWS) scheme is a long-term initiative that will ultimately provide 480 water wells in rural areas within the state. In 2012, the state government awarded a contract to Dando Drilling International, a rig manufacturer based in England, to supply ten drilling rigs and associated equipment in addition to commissioning and training services as part of the BRWS.

The specification and expectations of the rigs was clear – Borno state required reliable and robust equipment that would work for decades in extreme climate conditions.

Dando Drilling International has been actively designing and shipping water well drilling rigs into Africa; in 1868 the company first supplied tubewells for Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and the first drilling rig was shipped to Nigeria in 1950.

Bespoke technology for Nigeria

The Dando Watertec range of top drive rotary drilling rigs are recognised as one of the most capable and fit-for-purpose range of water well drilling machines available on the market. Particularly, the Watertec 40, Borno’s rig of choice is capable of a wide range of drilling techniques and is tried and tested hugely successful deep water well drilling rig designed for drilling large diameter water wells to great depths in some of the world's most challenging climates and terrains.

With a lifting capacity of 40,000kgf, the rig is favoured by large aid agencies, government departments and private contractors for deep borehole drilling projects worldwide. The drilling capacities are: 3-1/2" (13.5kgs/m) drill rod = 2962m and 4-1/2" (23kgs/m) drill rod = 1739m.

The rig features a Caterpillar C15 540 HP diesel engine as standard (other options available). The drill box includes a box type drill table with removable drill rod and casing guides and- the break out system is a double acting hydraulic cylinder with adjustable wrench.

Mast Dimensions using the main winch: 9140mm and using the rotary head: 7600mm. Hydraulically driven 7-1/2" x 8" duplex mud pump.

Dando Drilling International has invested heavily in workshop technology, the very latest design and manufacturing software, and additional highly skilled and experienced staff to reach its goal of becoming human capital and has developed its own facilities with the intent of becoming one of the most reliable providers of drilling rigs for the water sector.

Hydrology and harsh conditions in Borno state, Nigeria

With a total land mass of 69,435 square kilometres, Borno is one of the driest north-eastern states of Nigeria with semi- arid climate which consists of three seasons; long hot dry, short rainy and cold; Temperatures can be as high as 45C and the surface resources, except for the lake Chad, tend to dry up in the hot season.

Maiduguri, the largest city and capital of Borno state, lies on the Nigerian sector of the Chad basin. Its dry season lasts longer than the rainy season because of its geographical location so that, according to the department of Meteorological services, droughts and levels of desertification are growing more severe.

The water zone in Mauduguri, which is the lower zone of the Chad formation, occurs at depths of 423-510m. The terrain predominantly consists of clays and sands.

The exploitation of groundwater through drilling of boreholes has become of vital necessity to meet the increasing demand for water of the Nigerian growing population.

Dando boreholes

Four of the robust Watertec 40s supplied by Dando to Borno State have already been shipped and commissioned by Dando engineers in Maiduguri, where the terrain predominantly consists of sands and clays.

The first borehole was drilled using rotary mud flush method- known to be one of the fastest techniques for getting to the depths required. It is considered ideal for deep wells in soft to medium- hard formations and to control the stability of the borehole wall.

During the commissioning work a borehole of 600metres was drilled using a 123/ 3/4 tricone bit, and was cased using 8 inch (200mm) diameter steel casing screens.

The Watertec 40 is mounted on a standard 6 x 6 truck with full protection afforded to the mast, engine and mud pump.

Commissioning is a service provided by Dando if requested by customers. For the Borno project, a Dando engineer travelled to Nigeria to test the rigs confirming that they operated as required. He also provided training on the best drilling techniques for the particular terrain in the project area.

An entire community in Maiduguri has already started enjoying the services of the new borehole drilled and all the four rigs are currently working at various locations in Borno State. Elsewhere in Borno state a water well of 800m using mud rotary technique has been recently recorded and is believed to be the deepest water well in Nigeria to date.

The remaining rigs are now commencing the commissioning and training which will then allow them to be deployed in this life-saving project.

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August 2021

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