. Earth Science News .

Africa said rich in underground water
by Staff Writers
London (UPI) Apr 20, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The continent of Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater in underground aquifers holding 100 times the amount found on the surface, scientists say.

Researchers from the British Geological Survey and University College London have mapped the amount and potential yield of groundwater resources for the entire continent.

While rivers and lakes are subject to seasonal changes that can limit their availability for people and for agriculture, the new maps suggest many countries currently considered to have limited supplies possess substantial groundwater reserves, the researchers said.

"Where there's greatest ground water storage is in northern Africa, in the large sedimentary basins, in Libya, Algeria and Chad," Helen Bonsor from the British Geological Survey told the BBC.

"The amount of storage in those basins is equivalent to 75 meters (250 feet) thickness of water across that area --- it's a huge amount."

Because of climate changes that turned the Sahara into a desert over centuries, many of the aquifers underneath it were last filled with water more than 5,000 years ago, the researchers said.

However, widespread drilling of large wells to tap these hidden resources might not be the best strategy, they said, citing concerns large-scale operations could rapidly deplete the aquifers.

Sometimes slower means of extraction can be more efficient, Bonsor said.

"Much lower storage aquifers are present across much of sub-Saharan Africa," she said.

"However, our work shows that with careful exploring and construction, there is sufficient groundwater under Africa to support low yielding water supplies for drinking and community irrigation."

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Iran starts $1-bn project to bring water to desert
Tehran (AFP) April 16, 2012
Iran on Monday officially launched a $1-billion first phase of an ambitious project to pump water from the Caspian Sea to a city in its vast and expanding central desert, state media reported. The initial phase will see a desalination plant and pipes built over the next two years to supply water to the desert city of Semnan, population 200,000, according to officials. "The desert is grow ... read more

Desolation of Pakistan avalanche site

Lawyer to take over at Fukushima plant operator

Toxic gases hamper search at Pakistan avalanche site

New underwater images show damage at Fukushima

US judge allows tech 'poaching' suit to proceed

Hollywood studios lose landmark download case

Raytheon's Space Fence System Detects and Tracks Space Objects

Greenpeace says cloud computing 'dirty'

Africa said rich in underground water

Three Gorges Dam prompts more evacuations

New purple crab species found in Philippines

Coral Reef Winners and Losers in a Warmer World

Polar bears older than previously thought: study

Chinese PM wraps up Iceland visit

Wen to promote China's Arctic ambition in Europe

CU-Boulder study shows Greenland may be slip-sliding away due to surface lake melt

That is why plants grow towards the light

Southeast Asia's billion dollar cassava industry at high risk due to climate change

Nutrient and toxin all at once: How plants absorb the perfect quantity of minerals

Scientists discover 'switch' in plants to create flowers

New research puts focus on earthquake, tsunami hazard for southern California

Mexico volcano roars, spews glowing rocks

Ancient Greek tsunami bears warning signs: study

Tokyo mega-quake would kill over 9,000: simulation

G.Bissau will 'defend itself' if foreign troops sent: junta

Diarra: launch of NASA scientist into Mali politics

G.Bissau army says coup bid over secret deal with Angola

ECOWAS council asks regional leaders to okay Mali force

Chimpanzee ground nests offer new insight into our ancestors descent from the trees

Genetic adaptation of fat metabolism key to development of human brain

Majority-biased learning

Development of the glial cell revealed

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement