Thursday, April 26, 2012

huge water resource exists under africa

BBCNews | Scientists say the notoriously dry continent of Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater.

They argue that the total volume of water in aquifers underground is 100 times the amount found on the surface.

The team have produced the most detailed map yet of the scale and potential of this hidden resource.

Writing in the journal Environmental Research Letters, they stress that large scale drilling might not be the best way of increasing water supplies.

Across Africa more than 300 million people are said not to have access to safe drinking water.

Demand for water is set to grow markedly in coming decades due to population growth and the need for irrigation to grow crops.

Freshwater rivers and lakes are subject to seasonal floods and droughts that can limit their availability for people and for agriculture. At present only 5% of arable land is irrigated.

Now scientists have for the first time been able to carry out a continent-wide analysis of the water that is hidden under the surface in aquifers. Researchers from the British Geological Survey and University College London (UCL) have mapped in detail the amount and potential yield of this groundwater resource across the continent.

Helen Bonsor from the BGS is one of the authors of the paper. She says that up until now groundwater was out of sight and out of mind. She hopes the new maps will open people's eyes to the potential.

"Where there's greatest ground water storage is in northern Africa, in the large sedimentary basins, in Libya, Algeria and Chad," she said.

"The amount of storage in those basins is equivalent to 75m thickness of water across that area - it's a huge amount." Fist tap Dale.


John Kurman said...

Ghadafi had plans to tap into Libya's fossil water. And I bet he would have pissed through it faster than the Ogallala is gittin' wasted.

CNu said...

Was Ghadafi a poor shepherd of Libya's resources? What metric(s) did you apply in order to come to that conclusion?

John Kurman said...

His plan was to use the same dumb-ass techniques we have been using in California and Arizona - grow water-thirsty crops like cotton and alfalfa and garden produce, spray that water into the wind and let some of it fall on the plants, and "turn the desert green". Psychotic enough for ya?

CNu said...

 hmm..., I see

Given the ignominious way in which he was assassinated by others who will steal the resources for their own profit and ends, it's always more than a little difficult for me to uncritically accept criticisms of Ghadafi. He did better for more than any of his dictatorial peers.

Ed Dunn said...

Plenty of brutal Roman dictators built aqueducts so Ghadafi is not going to get any trophies or award nominations from me.

Besides, this has all the markings of an ex-colonial contract work instead of a brillant plan mastermind by someone who spend more time financing most of Black on Black African civil wars, something the Afro-Americans Nationalists are not willing to acknowledge...

CNu said...

I know you're not a Ghadafi fan Ed, but since I read these two books a minute ago;Andreski's early books, Parasitism and Subversion: the Case of Latin
America (1966) and The African Predicament: a Study in Pathology of
Modernisation (1968), could not have been written without first-hand
knowledge of the social and economic reality of both continents - and
also reflected a profound insight into the Weberian school of thought.I'm none too trusting of anyone's aims wrt Africa and Latin America.

Civil wars are how elites consolidate power in countries, and that's been true for as far back as you care to trace. What informs your belief that Ghadafi was a bad guy, when we know beyond any shadow of a doubt that American elites have done uniquely massive dirt on every continent in the world (except Australia and Antartica) for two hundred years?

With particularly nasty emphasis this past 70 years and increasing intensity in Great Gaming this past decade?

CNu said...

Let me try it one more time. Civil wars are exclusively about the consolidation of elite control over the apparatus of state. I have as yet to hear how Ghadafi's stab at elite rule in and outside Libya was somehow less desirable than various and sundry brands of elite rule being exercised in other African states.

John's disparagement of his 8th wonder scheme notwithstanding, I'm just not convinced that Ghadafi was a bad guy and an irresponsible and purely self-serving dictator, or, that his continent-spanning ambitions were somehow not pan-africanist (again, given the piss poor quality of dictatorial satraps installed by other powers elsewhere)

John Kurman said...

My psychosis reference was aimed more at the people of Southwest US. I just thought Ghadafi's plan was just plain dumb.

CNu said...

No, you were quite correct, I had no idea that he had formulated any such ass-hattery. Thanks for pointing it out.

I'm honestly not a fan of ANY of the James Bond villains who have cropped up and epic failed in the brief and turbulent history of post-colonial Africa. Too bad there hasn't ever arisen one in the mold of Dr. Henry Belsidus for real....,

CNu said...

The NYTimes and the WaPo teaming up this morning to whoop they gums about "unintended" consequences of toppling Qadafi. and

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