This is incredible. Scientists have found an underground water reserve in Kenya so large that it could meet the entire country’s water needs for the next 70 years. Using satellite, radar and geological technology, scientists found an aquifer—an underground layer of water-bearing material—that contains 200 billion cubic meters of fresh water.
UNESCO and the Kenyan government put together a team to find water in Kenya. The just discovered Lotikipi Basin Aquifer, which is about 1000 feet underground, measures 62 miles by 41 miles and is significantly larger than other aquifers discovered in the region. In fact, it holds 900% more water than what’s in Kenya’s current reserves. Just look at the size of this thing:
For a country like Kenya that deals with droughts all too often, the discovery is life changing. Possibly even country changing. If Kenya’s government is able to create the proper infrastructure for the water, the nomadic tribespeople of the region can settle down instead of searching for rain which could lead to farms sprouting up, towns growing and a whole country developing. This won’t happen overnight, of course, but having a water supply that can last for more than half a century is definitely a jumpstart.
How did the aquifer get discovered? It sounds so simple. Alain Gachet, the CEO of Radar Technologies International and the guy behind the search for water in Kenya, and his team used a mapping system they called WATEX to find the water. WATEX basically uses existing satellite, radar and geological maps and combines them to see what’s underneath the ground. The mapping system was originally meant to find mineral reserves in Africa but is now being used to find water. UNESCO now hopes to take this system in hopes of finding water in other African countries.