Drilling Licence and Groundwater Development Regulations

The second Regulations developed and adopted by Parliament is the Drilling Licence and Groundwater Development Regulations Legislative Instrument (L.I.) 1827 (2006).

The purpose of the LI 1827 is to:

  • Provide licences to companies that prospect for and drill water wells;
  • Regulate in an environmentally sustainable manner the development of Ghana's groundwater resources; and
  • Gather information on the groundwater resources availability in Ghana and its exploitation for effective planning and management of groundwater development activities.

General Components:
The LI is made up of 24 regulations that regulate the following:

  • Administrative processes for applying for and renewing a licence;
  • Notification of the WRC of any well drilling activity;
  • Procedures to be followed by licence holders and water well drillers to:
  1. develop such wells, in an environmentally friendly manner;
  2. abandon wells properly; and
  3. rehabilitate defective ones.

Provide access of the WRC to the site of wells to monitor and inspect groundwater development activities and use; 

  • Collection and storing of data on wells drilled and developed;
  • Offences on non-compliance of provisions of the Regulations; and
  • Interpretation of the L.I.

The Regulations are followed by four Schedules, which set out provisions on:

  1. Application forms;
  2. Fees;
  3. Notice of intention to undertake well construction; and
  4. Water quality parameters to be analysed by licence holders.

Administration of Drilling Licence and Groundwater Development Regulations:The administration of the Drilling License and Groundwater Development Regulations, 2006 (LI 1827) has progressed with the view to ensuring that water wells drilling activities are appropriately coordinated, data on groundwater is properly generated, and the development of groundwater resources is sustained.

Drilling Licenses Issued as at 2010

Year Number of Companies


Total 57

Twenty-nine (29) well drilling licenses were issued during the reporting year to twenty-nine contractors including four (4) foreign contractors bringing the total number of companies issued with licenses to fifty seven (57), an increase of 29 over the 28 licenses issued as at 2009.

The WRC classifies drilling companies under three categories: A Category 'A' company must possess more than four drilling rigs; a category 'B' company must possess between two and five drilling rigs; a Category 'C' company either hires rigs or possesses only one drilling rig.

Out of the total of 57 licensed companies, 39, representing about 68% were in Category 'C', while 18, representing 32% were in Category 'B'. None of them were in Category 'A'.