Craig Eisele on …..

April 21, 2012

Africa: Huge Water Reserves Under Continent

Researchers have found thatAfrica has huge reserves of water underground, which they estimate are more than a hundred times the annual renewable freshwater resources.

Their findings, published in the academic journal Environment Research Letters, show that the largest reserves are in aquifers in the north African countries of Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Chad and Sudan.

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The scientists used existing data, but for the first time this data was collated to give a continent-wide picture. They estimate that there are 0.66 million cubic kilometres of groundwater storage under Africa.

However, the researchers emphasise that it is important to take into consideration the rate at which this stored water can be replenished.

Whilst the largest reserves lie across the arid region of north Africa, these were filled five thousand years ago when the region was much wetter. There is plenty of water under this area, about seventy five meters deep, but whatever is taken out is not replenished.

Other factors to be taken into account are the geological characteristics of the underground water reservoirs. For example, if the groundwater is very deep underground it cannot be accessed by hand pump.

The researchers find that “for many African countries appropriately sited and constructed boreholes will be able to sustain community handpumps and for most of the populated areas of Africa, groundwater levels are likely to be sufficiently shallow to be accessed using a handpump”.

One of the report’s authors, Helen Bonsor of the British Geological Survey, told AIM that it is not appropriate to downscale the report’s findings, and that their work does not deal with the quality of the water stored. It thus does not deal with the issues of salinization or contamination, although she said that in general the stored water is purer than surface water. She stressed that the report is intended to encourage debate and more local research.

There is certainly a large amount of water under Mozambique, and the paper estimates that there are 6,290 cubic kilometres of groundwater stored under the country, with particularly large reserves under Maputo province.

The groundwater in Mozambique is replenished at a rate of between 25 and 100 millimetres per year, and is stored relatively close to the surface. The paper shows that the aquifer productivity for much of Mozambique is high.

The British Geological Survey has also been undertaking a one year research project funded by the British government’s Department for International Development, looking at the resilience of African groundwater to climate change.

That research found that “groundwater possesses a high resilience to climate change in Africa and should be central to adaptation strategies”.

June 2, 2011

Egypt Can/Should/Must go to WAR Over NILE WATER RIGHTS

I fully suspect that this post will be met with a lot of resistance. However, this post is necessary at this time.

Egypt has stated for sometime that it will not have sufficient water from the Nile River in less than 6 years from now.  The Current political situation in Egypt has caused this critical issues to  move to the  back of a long line of priorities as Egypt  reforms its internal government and implements  new-found democratic methods.  But the situation concerning water s still important and others wishing to weaken Egypt are using this current transformation in Egypt as a means to further their own agendas.

For a moment I want to stop looking at foreign influence permeating the political situation in Egypt. That was addressed in a prior post and will be addressed again in future posts. What I want to do now is focus on the Water Crises  facing Egypt.

Ethiopia has become arrogant and  indifferent to others in its new-found popularity. The headquarters of the AU , the influx of money from China and other events has emboldened Ethiopia to  focus more on self interests then to consider the effects of their actions on the region.

While I am not promoting the use of conventional warfare against Ethiopia I would support Egypt’s right to make preemptive attacks on the dams and other facilities that are taking water from the Nile river.  This is the same argument that Israel and the USA use when attacking other countries that supposedly threaten their national interests. This course of action must always be on the table for Egypt. I am not suggesting that Egypt engage in Conventional warfare at this time. I am saying that Egypt would be justified in doing so in the future.

There are other kinds of warfare that should and must be used now. Egypt has already filed in the international Court for violations of its rights to stop this taking of water by up-stream countries.. but MORE needs to be done. Legal action is in of itself war. But trying to stop something that has already happened and is continuing and facilities being built even as you read this will not stop.

Economic warfare if the next phase of action that Egypt must engage in. Not just legal lawsuits in International Court but the involvement of the Full AU (African Union) as well as the UN (a resolution by the General Assembly), And the Demand that the World Bank take appropriate action against the offending Countries including China if what I am led to believe   is accurate.

When pressure on Ethiopia diminished  because of the  revolution in Egypt,  Ethiopia continued looking out for its own best interests.

The more water Ethiopia and other countries take from the tributaries to the Nile river the more the salt line from the Mediterranean sea pushes back into  Egypt and the  more contamination of drinking water and water for agricultural uses. It further lowers the height of the Nile and affects fishing, which is a main staple for diet and an economic contributor for small businesses. The costs in lives,  livelihoods and the national Economy  is already showing and will become critical even before Egypt can no longer sustain itself because of Ethiopia’s actions.

Egypt must not only take action.. it must take more and be extremely forceful in doing so for the lives of its citizens are at risk as it the future of Egypt.

There ARE solutions however.

Ms. Haidi Farouk was quoted and referenced last month on the historical belief that there are underground rivers that flow into Egypt from the South and the rain forests there. While interesting to note, it is not the solution as those rain forests are experiencing their own changes due to climate change. The probability of finding water, let alone a quantity of water sufficient to meet Egypt’s needs is very very low… BUT worth Exploring as they can be used for another solution that has been submitted to Egypt’s governing body more than 6 months ago (but is probably lost in the revolution changes) . Ms Farouk has diligently researched the past but not the ancient past that would offer more credible solutions There are many things I wish to discuss with Ms Farouk including this one if she ever contacts me.

This who want to depend on Desalinization plants are  foolish as the COST of producing drinkable ware with the price of energy is too much for an Economy such as Egypt’s. Just to put that into perspective even in the USA there is concern over the actual cost to produce safe and clean water because of those energy costs. Can a person making 1 dollar a day (6 Egyptian Pounds) afford that water when those people are struggling to even feed their families….

The other problem is the lack of Funds. IF Egypt and Ethiopia want to avoid the real possibility of Conventional war then the projects intended to find alternative sources of potable and usable water MUST be born by those countries like Ethiopia who are and have been violating the existing Treaty on the uses of the Nile River water rights.

To simply say that the water originates in those countries shows not only ignorance of the way rivers flow and the need to keep them flowing but also the arrogance of total deprived indifference towards the lives of those downstream who have for centuries depended on the flow of that water. To take the water because it happens to flow through or originate from your country is the same as a child who has the soccer ball (futball) saying to the other children that he/she wants to change the rules of the game that have stood since the inception of the game only because that person has the ball at that time. As adults we call that being childish when children behave like that.. but as adults and where the state is NOT a game but human lives and human suffering  I call that criminal behavior.

Egypt can not afford.. NOR should they be expected to pay for  in the past, studies and development of options on replacing  the water that is so desperately needed for its citizens. Hence an agreement  on peace can be had by those countries who are violating the existing treaty PAY for these  attempts to solve this looming crises of water.

The future of mankind will see that Water will be the major issues in war between countries. How those wars are fought will distinguish  the integrity of the Countries involved. How the international Community helps resolve those issues before human lives are lost will define this century as what Humanity has become.

What if I told you I have a solution to this problem. That I can assure enough water for Egypt from the Nile River for the next 40-50 years. That if implements it will not only  provide this water but will assure the  livelihoods of those dependent on the Nile river and foster 10′s of THOUSANDS of jobs and new business opportunities for Egypt. A solution that will help Egypt economically and socially and PREVENT war in all forms.

What is a plan like that worth… and WHO should pay for it. The estimated cost is about 250 million US dollars.  I say Ethiopia and the other countries who are illegally taking that water that Egypt is legally entitled to.

I must seem cold hearted to suggest that I make  money from this work.. but this is how I make my living.. . I find solutions to problems that others have not. When Egypt is ready … I will be only too happy to work with whomever can make this project work for Egypt and the People of Egypt.

The Rubric Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

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