27 February 2024 – Auckland

José Cerván from Beca Ltd presented “Hydrogeology applied to development. Manual Borehole Drilling as an Affordable Solution for Drinking Water Access” at Beca House in Auckland, where attendees gathered on the evening of February 27th, 2024 for an informative and engaging session.


The challenge of water access in rural areas of low-income countries is persistent and complex. José Cerván’s presentation offered insight into manual well-drilling methods as a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional drilling. This technique is especially suitable for soft rock environments like unconsolidated sediments, making it a valuable solution in areas with moderate water tables.

For over six years, the collaborative efforts of Geologists Without Borders and the Faculty of Geological Sciences at UCM in Madrid have been directed towards customizing manual drilling systems for the unique geological and climatic conditions of West Africa. José’s firsthand experience from his two-year tenure in rural Mali provided a practical perspective on the project’s implementation and successes.

José is a hydrogeologist at Beca Ltd, based in Auckland. He holds a degree in Geological Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid and an MSc in Water Resources and Environment from the University of Malaga.

Born and raised in the south of Spain, after graduating in 2014 José has worked in the environmental field, development cooperation and engineering in the USA, Mali, Colombia, and Spain, before moving to New Zealand.