Massive Underground Water Supply Found In Desert African Country

nambiaNamibia is Africa’s fifth largest country and its driest country south of the Sahara.

Photo: Flickr/mtarlock

A newly discovered water source could supply half of Africa’s driest sub-Saharan country with 400 years of water, reports Matt McGrath of BBC.The new aquifer – called Ohangwena II – flows under the border between Angola and Namibia, covering an area of about 43 miles by 25 miles on Namibia’s side.

The water is up to 10,000 years old and cleaner to drink than many modern sources. 

Project manager Martin Quinger told BBC that the stored water could last 400 years based on current rates of consumption.

Currently the 800,000 people living in the northern part of the country get their drinking water from a 40-year-old canal that brings the scarce resource from Angola.

Quinger added that Ohangwena II could change the nature of farming in the area, which has only been viable near two rivers in the region, and could act as a natural buffer for up to 15 years of drought.

Natural pressure will make the water easy and cheap to extract.

However, McGrath notes, the new supply sits on a smaller, salty aquifer, raising the possibility that unauthorised drilling could lead to the water sources contaminating each other.

SEE ALSO: Africa Is Sitting On An Enormous Underground Water Supply >

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