Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sooners Without Borders Receive Hands-On Training

Undergraduate students involved with OU's Sooners Without Borders (SWB) were actively involved in well-drilling training, aquifer testing, and water quality analysis as part of their 
preparation for work in developing countries.

Vicki and Megan became expert well drillers using the hand auger tool.

Two SWB students - Megan Baxter and Vicki Ea - received 2-day training on hand-drilled well and pump installation in developing countries. Water4 Foundation ( provides excellent training for individuals and groups seeking to bring clean water to needy villages. Jim Chamberlain, WaTER Staff Engineer, was also trained in the methods and tools. 

As Caleb Holsey explains, "In the beginning stages of a project, Water4's primary focus is not drilling wells.  We hope this happens, but we are most interested in setting up nationals to have a well drilling business that they might continue after we leave.  We like to partner with groups in places where they have an established presence with long term goals and have identified villagers who need a job and could be trained to do this as their occupation from now on."  Water4's mission is to establish in-country well drilling businesses, with the desired bi-product being completed wells. 

Caleb Holsey of Water4 demonstrates the organization's new pump design.

In a separate project, Sam Bush and Catherine Lynn traveled to the Black Mesa region of Oklahoma to locate and identify wells, test aquifer recharge, measure well and water depth, and analyze water quality constituents in the field. Their work over a long weekend was to help prepare them for possible international work in Uganda, Haiti, or Guatemala. 

Cate Lynn used an electronic dipper to measure well depth and depth to water.

Sam Bush and Jim Chamberlain measured well and aquifer properties.

Cate, John, and Sam - leaning against their four-wheeled "donkey" that sped them up and down
the grand mesa-lined valleys.

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