Agreement on Use of Nubian Aquifer

Libya, Egypt, Chad and Sudan have signed a strategic action plan to improve their management of water resources, and in particular of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer.

The aquifer, which lies below the four countries, is the largest fossil aquifer in the world. It covers 772,000 square miles at a depth of 1,600-2,500 feet under the desert, and was discovered in the mid-1950s by Western oilmen.

Libya's Great Man-Made River carries water from the vast underground reserve through a network of gigantic concrete tunnels about 3,125 miles long and buried 10-12 feet under the sand. The $33-billion project was hailed an engineering masterpiece when it was completed in the 1990s after more than a decade of construction.

The agreement was made possible thanks to a technical cooperation project by the UNDP, WEF, UNESCO and IAEA.

(Sources: ANSAMed, UPI)

(Picture: Great Man Made River map. Credit: Danmichaelo)

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