Water (2)

  • Huffington PostLibya: Oil and Water Mix?: One of the less well known projects undertaken by Gadhafi is “The Great Man-Made River Scheme,” a huge technological plan to shift fresh water from ancient underground aquifers… in the Sahara Desert to irrigate new remote agricultural harvest and provide ample supply to Tripoli, Benghazi, and the concentrated population along the Mediterranean coast… This exceptional underground reservoir is part of an ancient connected system that covers two million square kilometers, overlapping parts of Libya, Egypt, Chad, and Sudan — the so-called Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System. This is “fossil” water, accumulated over millions of years, finite, marginally rechargeable, thus non-renewable, and not an active part of the surrounding hydrological cycle that has provided limited groundwater for expanding use and demand by growing population.
  • The GuardianThis will be the Arab world’s next battle: Long after the political uprisings in the Middle East have subsided, many underlying challenges that are not now in the news will remain. Prominent among these are rapid population growth, spreading water shortages, and growing food insecurity… after more than 20 years of wheat self-sufficiency, the Saudis announced in January 2008 that this aquifer was largely depleted and they would be phasing out wheat production…
    The unusually rapid phaseout of wheat farming in Saudi Arabia is due to two factors. First, in this arid country there is little farming without irrigation. Second, irrigation depends almost entirely on a fossil aquifer – which, unlike most aquifers, does not recharge naturally from rainfall. And the desalted sea water the country uses to supply its cities is far too costly for irrigation use – even for the Saudis.
This entry was posted in Agriculture, Energy / Natural Resources, Food, Geopolitics, libya, War & Peace and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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