Libya’s Sea of Fresh Water Beneath the Desert  

Posted by Big Gav in

Cryptogon notes that Libya, besides having a lot of oil, has a lot of fresh water stored under the desert (not to mention great solar power generation potential) - Libya’s Sea of Fresh Water Beneath the Desert, But Wait, There’s More.

We all know about the obvious oil component to what is happening in Libya, but that’s definitely not he full story. Here are some other factors to keep in mind as the U.S. leads a war in Libya for “humanitarian” reasons.

Saudi Aramco, Seas Beneath the Sands:
Libya is already pumping water from the Kufra Oasis, in its southeast corner, through a four-meter-diameter pipeline to its thirsty coastal cities. When fully operational, that project will pump some 3.6 million cubic meters per day. Still, at current extraction rates, the aquifer is not likely to be depleted for a thousand years.

Christian Science Monitor, Libya’s Qaddafi Taps ‘Fossil Water’ to Irrigate Desert Farms:
While many countries in the Middle East and North Africa bicker over water rights, Libya has tapped into an aquifer of ‘fossil water’ to change its topography – turning sand into soil. The 26-year, $20 billion project is nearly finished.

As I was reading about how bone dry (on the surface) and sunny Libya is, I thought, “Wow, sounds great for solar power.” And then I found this, from the Tripoli Post:
Moreover, since this report came out, there has been some encouraging progress in Libya on the practical front regarding the issue of solar power. In October this year (as reported by the Tripoli Post in issue 171) the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it was sending a team of experts from its National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado to collaborate on concentrating solar power in Libya. The DOE confirmed that Libya, with its low humidity and numerous sunny days, had the ideal conditions for the possible exploitation of solar power technologies.

This is indeed encouraging news. Libya has an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres, 90% of which is hot sunny desert. Libya, through its proximity to mainland Europe, already supplies Europe energy by pipeline via the Greenstream pipeline – the longest sub-sea pipeline in the Mediterranean. If this new technology is realized, it would hopefully put Libya in the centre of any future post-oil era energy industry.

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