Saturday, October 26, 2013

Africa faces water crisis despite discovery of huge aquifers

Space Daily via UPI: The recent discovery of two vast aquifers in northern Kenya and Namibia has given weight to scientists' claims the African continent is sitting on immense underground reservoirs of water. But the scientists also warn that Africa faces more droughts because of climate change and could have 25 percent less water by the end of the century, setting the state for possible water wars.

Egypt and Ethiopia, for instance, are facing off over the long-contested waters of the Nile River because Addis Ababa is building a giant $4.3 billion hydroelectric dam, which will cut the flow to Egypt, whose 84 million people depend on the Nile to survive.

The U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor cautioned the September discovery of the aquifers in the drought-plagued Turkana desert of northwestern Kenya near the borders with Uganda and South Sudan raises "the possibility of cross-border conflicts over water rights in the future."

The Lotikipi Basin Aquifer and the smaller Lodwar Basin Aquifer were among five aquifers located by Radar Technologies International of France, in collaboration with the Kenyan government and the United Nations with funding from Japan.

The East African aquifers were discovered using advanced satellite technology and confirmed by drilling. The size of the other three Kenyan acquifers still has to be determined by drilling. Lotikipi, roughly the size of Rhode Island, contains an estimated 7.3 trillion cubic feet of water with an annual recharge rate of 42.4 billion cubic feet through rainfall in Kenya and Uganda....

NASA image of Lake Turkana in Kenya and Ethiopia, not far from the recently discovered aquifers

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