In the depths of the African savannah found huge reserves of water

22/12/2012 Africa, deep underground, there is a huge amount of fresh water is 100 times greater than at the surface. These reserves are virtually untouched. This is the conclusion reached by researchers from the University of London, the first time present a map of underground water in the continent.

As the World Policy, these aquifers can play a crucial role in ensuring food security of the growing population of the Black Continent, and in the fight against poverty and climate change adaptation.

Most of this resource is just in the driest places on the planet, under the Sahel (Sahel — tropical savannah, which is a kind of transition between the Sahara to the north and the more fertile lands of the south). Since the lack of moisture in the region is a serious problem, the extraction of underground water can be a priority.

Earlier underground sea was found in southern Africa. Scientists said it could provide the country with water for 400 years.

Many countries already have experience in development of mineral water. For example, in 1984 in Libya, fresh water, mixed with salt water, unfit for drinking, and Muammar Gaddafi for $ 25 billion ordered construction of the "Great Artificial River." Under this project, it was necessary to remove the water from the Sahara and hold it in the seaside town. And the price of this development, according to some estimates, amounted to only 1/10 of the cost of work on desalination plant from the Mediterranean.

Gaddafi claimed that the reserves will last for 4,000 years, but experts believe that they will end much earlier — in 60 — 100 years. And, although this "river" is still functioning, the Libyan farmers can afford irrigation water only because of government subsidies.

The problem with these designs is that the groundwater — a non-renewable resource, so that resort to it should be a last resort. However, for African countries suffering from a severe drought, so much moisture under your feet might be the salvation.

For example, in May 2012, eight West African countries have suffered from dry weather in the middle of the growing season. Because of this rapidly soared, food prices, and more than 18 million people were not able to feed themselves and their families. In Chad and Mauritania had lost more than 50% of the crop yield compared to 2011.

UN experts believe that the fight for water is a threat to agriculture and could undermine the foundations of the global food system.

Voice of Russia

Category: Ecology

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