Updated Sep 13, 2018

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The Crawford Drill

We've created a patented drill system that, while producing the cleanest and most sustainable wells, costs a fraction of traditional drilling and can give the poorest people of the world the power to control their own water access.


Samuel Crawford

Stage 4: Transition to Scale

We put our system to the test in India, Mexico, Africa and the US with great success. We've drilled boreholes from 3" to 20" with both our hand and hydraulic systems. We are in negotiations with NGO's around the world to expand our reach.

Focus Areas:

Water Management, Water Supply/Quality and Agriculture

Water Management, Water Supply/Quality and AgricultureSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Mexico, Peru, United States and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Mexico, Peru, United States, Zimbabwe and IndiaSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In
Funds Raised to Date


Water access is simply unaffordable for millions of the world's poorest people. Boreholes that are drilled by well-meaning charities through traditional means are expensive and are more likely to fail in a short period of time, leaving those who were meant to benefit right back where they started. There has never been a reliable technique that is easily implemented, repeatable, accessible and sensible enough to solve the global water access problem... Until now!



The Crawford Drill is the result of years of extensive testing and over 45 years of experience drilling all types of boreholes throughout North America with every known technique. Inventor RC Crawford took the cleanest and most effective techniques (that previously cost over six figures and required heavy truck mounted systems) down to the simplest components, solved the mathematical problems and created a patented system for hand drilling the best wells possible; easily and cheaply.

Target Beneficiaries

Millions of people around the world who do not have access to clean drinking and irrigation water can now access a method to solve their water problems forever. People need not die trying to hand dig open-pit wells simply because they can't afford a safe and clean borehole. With The Crawford Drill, the cost is now within reach to many millions of people. Farmers can easily and affordably extend their growing seasons and families can now have access to water right at home.

Mission and Vision

Our dream is to bring RC Crawford's patented system to the world. We started One Million Wells with the mission of teaching the poorest of the world how to access the water that sits just meters beneath their feet; safely and cleanly. Because we can teach them how to build a drill for under $500that can be used to bore countless wells, we can help them get the water access points in the numbers and scale they need to develop their communities. The world will be changed.

Innovation Description

It's simple. We use compressed air, PVC pipe and our patented design and mathematical formulas to allow boreholes to be easily drilled in a variety of geological conditions. Our drills can be scaled from 3" to 6" for hand-drilled drinking and agricultural wells to up to 24" and even beyond, with our hydraulically-assisted versions, making it suitable for even municipal projects. With an 8" drill stem we have lifted 8" long rocks up through the drill stem with no effort. No other drilling system that can drill through gravel, cobble and small rocks is nearly as portable, cost-effective and clean as ours. Our system can be hauled in by pickup, dropped by parachute or even hauled in a cattle cart. We use a version of reverse flow airlift to produce the cleanest, least aquifer-damaging boreholes that are easy to develop and filter and have a much lower probability of failure. Most other wells drilled in developing countries with other techniques fail at a rate that is unacceptably high. Our system is designed to prevent clogging and produce wells that can last for decades, all at an extremely low cost and with a method that can be easily taught in a matter of days to almost anyone in the world. We are out to revolutionize and democratize water access while producing wells that can last for a generation.

Competitive Advantage

No one else is drilling the way we can. No one else has access to our patented technology. No one else is teaching people how to drill for themselves with the goal to put the power to control water access into the hands of the most needy of the world. And no other lightweight, portable system is scalable from small hand-drilled to larger, hydraulically-assisted systems.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We are developing hammer drills that will allow us to extend the type geology in which our system can be most effective. We are developing faster, patented connectors. We are expanding and refining our hydraulically-assisted versions that can be used for larger boreholes and municipal/community wells. We are seeking partnerships with other NGO's to put our system to work and with manufacturers around the world to help us lower costs and mass-produce our products.
Funding Goal1,000,000
New Implemented CountriesBrazil, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Senegal, Peru, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia
RecruitWe are looking for volunteers and board members who are interested in becoming part of our water access revolution.
New FeatureWe are continuing to improve and develop our system to become faster, easier and more affordable.


Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
United States, Peru, Mexico and Zimbabwe

Supporting Materials