In total, 26 wells have been drilled so far in Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo
Coming up with alternatives to the Doce River water withdrawal is one of the concerns of the team of the Water Supply System Improvement Program of the Renova Foundation. So far, two possible solutions have been implemented: water pipelines and artesian wells.
The wells are an alternative to the water supply in places where there is no other river, besides the Doce River, that can be used for water withdrawal and installation of water pipelines. In addition, the amount of water to be supplied to the regions is also taken into account when choosing between the two options.
If demand is small, the wells can supply it without having to build a pipeline which requires additional costs, such as electricity and labor, to maintain them in operation after delivery. The artesian wells are holes in the ground for the withdrawal of water direct from aquifers, which are underground water reserves.
Groundwater sources are generally of qualitative and quantitative characteristics suitable for the allocation of human consumption. However, it is necessary to conduct preliminary studies for the location of wells and the water security of the alternative systems to ensure efficiency and continuity of the water withdrawal.
After the definition of the water security study, as well as a complete chemical analysis of the groundwater, a pumping system is installed and an interconnection is made from the well to the treatment network and the supply of the municipality.
According to the hydrogeological engineer of the Water Supply Systems Improvement Program, Matthew Mol, the water safety study is in progress, but there are already some drilled wells in place for emergency use by the municipalities and districts that had their supply affected due to the collapse of the Fundão dam. “We are developing a large-scale study on water security. The objective is to create a comprehensive material, which can serve as a basis to support decisions about the construction of future alternative water supply systems, as well as the validation of today’s alternatives”, he explains.
Of the 26 wells already drilled by the team of the Renova Foundation, 20 are in Minas Gerais and 6 in Espírito Santo.