The paper describes the water well drilling methods currently in use throughout the world and explains the operation, tooling, and application of each system. Notable developments are reviewed and the problems which fostered them are examined. While the main systems of drilling are dealt with, mention is made of the less common methods, some of which may be selected for areas where local conditions warrant their use.

Cable-tool (percussion), rotary and other types of drilling are discussed and also the use of clay-based and organic polymer muds, air-flush, and foam.

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