Check out the latest industry happenings in this month's column byND'seditor.

Ground Water Availability Study

Scientists have proposed a strategy to study the nation’s ground water supply as part of the federal government’s effort to help address the increasing competition for water. Declines in ground water levels have led to concerns about the future availability of ground water, which provides half the country’s drinking water, and is essential to the vitality of agriculture and industry, as well as to the health of rivers, wetlands and estuaries throughout the country.

The report, “Ground Water Availability in the United States,” examines what is known about the nation’s ground water availability, and outlines a strategy for future national and regional studies that would provide information to help state and local agencies make informed water-availability decisions. You can view the complete report online at

“An assessment of ground water availability is critical for state and local agencies to make decisions about important issues such as drinking water, industrial and energy production, and agricultural uses,” says William Alley of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Office of Ground Water.

The approach outlined in the report is designed to provide useful regional information for state and local agencies that manage ground water resources, while providing the building blocks for a national assessment. The report contains information about 30 regional principal aquifers and five case studies to illustrate the diversity of water-availability issues. The report is written for a wide audience interested or involved in the management, protection and sustainable use of the nation’s water resources. 

Determining ground water availability is a complex process. Issues affecting ground water vary from location to location, and commonly require analysis in the context of ground water flow systems to achieve a meaningful perspective. Even if water resources are abundant regionally, heavy water use in centralized areas can create local stresses. As water-related problems evolve in complex ways, an up-to-date and comprehensive evaluation of ground water resources that builds on the foundation of previous studies is needed to meet society’s ever-changing water demands.

New Water Well/Geothermal Web Site

Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions, Garland, Texas, recently posted a company Web site dedicated specifically to the water well and geothermal drilling markets. The site is located at

The site includes details about the company and its capabilities. A “Current Products” section includes downloadable information bulletins and technical specifications for all Atlas Copco drill rigs and operating systems serving the market.

Additional areas on the website include a newsroom, application reports, industry information area, and a links page for connecting with other Internet resources.

You Are Generous and Kind

Most of you are, that is. In a recent Web Poll at, we asked visitors, “With how many people do you share your copy ofNational Driller?” The results:
  • None, it’s strictly for my reading pleasure – 39 percent.

  • One, we have to take turns with every issue – 7 percent.

  • Two, we fight over who gets to read it first – 27 percent.

  • Three, it disappears out of the mailbox very quickly – 20 percent.

  • Four or more, I never get to see it when it first comes out – 7 percent.
That’s an average pass-along rate of 2.5; we certainly appreciate the munificence of all those who spread the wealth. And as for all of you issue hogs out there, we take that as a compliment, too.

Schatz Celebrates 40 Great Years

Ben Schatz, president and owner of ChemGrout Inc., located in LaGrange Park, Ill., is celebrating his 40th year with the company. ChemGrout manufactures the world’s largest selection of cementitious grouting equipment, providing machines for use in industries such as mining, tunneling, highways, dams, foundations, post-tensioning and geothermal.  During Schatz’s reign at ChemGrout, the company has grown steadily from two employees to its current 28.  In the early years of ChemGrout, Schatz performed field jobs all over the world, manufacturing grouting equipment for his own use. Soon, ChemGrout was manufacturing equipment for not only itself, but for others in the growing grouting industry. Then, in 1978, with machine orders continuing to increase, the company decided to eliminate the fieldwork in order to concentrate on manufacturing.

Boart Longyear Maneuvers

Boart Longyear Ltd., an integrated drilling products and services provider, announces the appointment of Joseph Ragan to the position of chief financial officer. “Joe is a seasoned financial executive with significant experience in all facets of global financial management, including extensive exposure to capital markets,” notes Craig Kipp, Boart Longyear president. “His proven leadership ability and extensive knowledge of international business will help guide Boart Longyear as we execute our strategic growth plan.”

Says Ragan: “I’m excited to join one of the leading companies in the global drilling industry, and look forward to contributing to its ongoing growth.”

The company also announced its acquisition of Westrod Engineering, a Western Australia-based manufacturer of reverse circulation rods, subs and swivels for minerals drilling.

Some Long-range Planning Notes

The International Foundation Con-gress and Equipment Exposition ’09 takes place Mar. 15-19, 2009, in Or-lando, Fla. This event brings together the world’s leading designers and constructors of foundation systems to present state-of-the-art-and-practice papers and panel discussions. Subjects range from design theory through construction practice. Every conceivable type of foundation installation rig, tooling, cranes and like equipment will be on display, and the indoor exhibit hall will feature design services, materials, testing equipment and construction services. For complete details, visit

The inaugural National Disaster Reconstruction Expo will be held June 17-18, 2009, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The event is geared toward professionals focused on disaster preparation, response, recovery and rebuilding. Learn more by going to