Domestic wells are the source of water for hundreds of millions of people around the world. They are one of the safest and most reliable types of water supplies for households that do not have access to public water supplies. However, they can be vulnerable to water quality and quantity problems for several reasons, including:
- their water quality is mostly unregulated and most domestic wells are not monitored regularly;
- they are often located close to contaminant sources;
- they are often relatively shallow and vulnerable to surface contaminants, droughts, and aquifer depletion; and,
- they are privately owned by individuals who often do not have the resources to ensure their wells can provide safe and reliable quantities of water.
The current approach for managing and protecting domestic wells, which relies primarily on voluntary action by the well owner, is failing to effectively address these multiple vulnerabilities.