Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project

Goumbook.com / September 1, 2010

 

The 1st of September marks the anniversary of the opening of the major stage of Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project.

This incredibly huge and successful water scheme is virtually unknown in the West, yet it rivals and even surpasses all our greatest development projects.

 

Up until recently, Libya’s supply of water came from underground aquifers or desalination plants on the coast. But water derived from desalination or aquifers near the coast was of poor quality and sometimes undrinkable. This problem also meant that little water was available to irrigate land for agriculture, which is vital in this largely desert country.

 

In the 1960s during oil exploration deep in the southern Libyan desert, vast reservoirs of high quality water were discovered in the form of aquifers. The most important of these aquifers, or water bearing rock strata, were laid down during a geological time when the Mediterranean sea flowed southward to the foot of the Tibesti mountains, that are situated on Libya’s border with Chad. During that period the Mediterranean sea frequently varied in level, as a result of which, various sedimentary deposits were formed.

 

Geological activity caused the up thrust of mountainous formations (Jabal Nefussa and Jabal Al Akhdar) and the associated downward movement formed natural underground basins.

Between 38,000 and 10,000 years ago the climate of North Africa was temperate, during which time there was considerable rainfall in Libya. The excess rainfall infiltrated into porous sandstone and was trapped between layers, forming reservoirs of underground fresh-water.

 

In Libya there are four major underground basins, these being the Kufra basin, the Sirt basin, the Morzuk basin and the Hamada basin, the first three of which contain combined reserves of 35,000 cubic kilometres of water. These vast reserves offer almost unlimited amounts of water for the Libyan people.

 

The people of Libya initiated a series of scientific studies on the possibility of accessing this vast ocean of fresh water. Early consideration was given to developing new agricultural projects close to the sources of the water, in the desert. However, it was realized that on the scale required to provide products for self sufficiency, a very large infrastructure organization would be required. In addition to this, a major redistribution of the population from the coastal belt would be necessary. The alternative was to ‘bring the water to the people’.

 

In October 1983, the Great Man-made River Authority was created and invested with the responsibility of taking water from the aquifers in the south, and conveying it by the most economical and practical means for use, predominantly for irrigation, in the Libyan coastal belt.

 

By 1996 the Great Man-Made River Project had reached one of its final stages, the gushing forth of sweet unpolluted water to the homes and gardens of the citizens of Libya’s capital Tripoli.

Louis Farrakhan, who took part in the opening ceremony of this important stage of the project, described the Great Man-Made River as “another miracle in the desert.”

 

The Great Man-Made River, as the largest water transport project ever undertaken, has been described as the “eighth wonder of the world”. It carries more than five million cubic metres of water per day across the desert to coastal areas, vastly increasing the amount of arable land. The total cost of the huge project is expected to exceed $25 billion (US).

 

Consisting of a network of pipes buried underground to eliminate evaporation, four meters in diameter, the project extends for four thousand kilometres far deep into the desert. All material is locally engineered and manufactured. Underground water is pumped from 270 wells hundreds of meters deep into reservoirs that feed the network.

 

The cost of one cubic meter of water equals 35 cents. The cubic meter of desalinized water is $3.75. Scientists estimate the amount of water to be equivalent to the flow of 200 years of water in the Nile River.

The goal of the Libyan Arab people, embodied in the Great Man-Made River project, is to Libya a source of agricultural abundance, capable of producing adequate food and water to supply its own needs and to share with neighboring countries.

In short, the River is literally Libya’s ‘meal ticket’ to self-sufficiency.

 

The Great Man-Made River Project is bringing water to the people and providing water for municipal, industrial and agricultural use. The strategy of the responsible Libyan authority is aimed at increasing both crop and livestock production to a level that achieves the highest possible rate of self-sufficiency and reduces dependence on imports from foreign markets to the lowest possible level. It also aims at increasing the productive capabilities of the labor force and of the capital investments in the sector, and at producing raw materials for food processing industries.

 

According to the writer Ali Baghdadi, “the river is a new lesson and an example in the struggle to achieve self-sufficiency, food security and true independence. No nation that depends on a foreign country to feed its people can be free. The Great River is a triumph against thirst and hunger. It is a defeat against ignorance and backwardness. It reflects the determination of Libyans to resist colonial pressure, to acquire technology, to develop, to improve their lives, and to control their own destiny in accordance with their own free will.”

 

New Dawn Magazine

25 Responses to “Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project”

  1. [...] Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project, September 1, 2010 [...]

  2. mike merica says:

    This is not a good thing since we already now of the devastating effect the depletion of ancient aquifers have on people. This project is a major disaster for the people of this region, it will encourage increasing birth rates, the last thing this earth needs at this point in time. And finally this water supply is finite, not infinite, one day it will be pumped dry.

  3. [...] Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project [...]

  4. [...] Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project, September 1, 2010 The 1st of September marks the anniversary of the opening of the major stage of Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project. This incredibly huge and successful water scheme isvirtually unknown in the West, yet it rivals and even surpasses all our greatest development projects. The leader of the so-called advanced countries, the United States of America cannot bring itself to acknowledge Libya’s Great Man-Made River. The West refuses to recognize that a small country, with a population no more than four million, can construct anything so large without borrowing a single cent from the international banks. [...]

  5. [...] Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project, September 1, 2010 The 1st of September marks the anniversary of the opening of the major stage of Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project. This incredibly huge and successful water scheme isvirtually unknown in the West, yet it rivals and even surpasses all our greatest development projects. The leader of the so-called advanced countries, the United States of America cannot bring itself to acknowledge Libya’s Great Man-Made River. The West refuses to recognize that a small country, with a population no more than four million, can construct anything so large without borrowing a single cent from the international banks. [...]

  6. [...] un ENORME CONDOTTO DI ACQUA DOLCE fino alla regione di Bengasi? Stavano aspettando che finisse? Il Progetto Grande Fiume Artificiale Libico, 1 Settembre 2010 …Nel 1960 durante un’esplorazione petrolifera nel profondo sud del deserto Libico, vaste [...]

  7. andreax says:

    @mike
    the day water will be pumped dry people will decrease birth rate, simple.

  8. [...] Il Progetto Grande Fiume Artificiale Libico, 1 Settembre 2010 [...]

  9. [...] Il Progetto Grande Fiume Artificiale Libico, 1 Settembre 2010 [...]

  10. [...] Il Progetto Grande Fiume Artificiale Libico, 1 Settembre 2010… Nel 1960 durante un’esplorazione petrolifera nel profondo sud del deserto Libico, vaste riserve di acqua di alta qualità furono scoperte sotto forma di falde acquifere. … …In Libia ci sono quattro grandi bacini sotterranei, e cioè il bacino di Kufra, il bacino di Sirte, il bacino di Morzuk e quello di Hamada, di cui i primi tre messi insieme contengono una riserva di 35.000 chilometri cubi di acqua. Queste vaste riserve offrono una quantità quasi illimitata di acqua per il popolo libico. [...]

  11. [...] Il Progetto Grande Fiume Artificiale Libico, 1 Settembre 2010… Nel 1960 durante un’esplorazione petrolifera nel profondo sud del deserto Libico, vaste riserve di acqua di alta qualità furono scoperte sotto forma di falde acquifere. … …In Libia ci sono quattro grandi bacini sotterranei, e cioè il bacino di Kufra, il bacino di Sirte, il bacino di Morzuk e quello di Hamada, di cui i primi tre messi insieme contengono una riserva di 35.000 chilometri cubi di acqua. Queste vaste riserve offrono una quantità quasi illimitata di acqua per il popolo libico. [...]

  12. [...] un ENORME CONDOTTO DI ACQUA DOLCE fino alla regione di Bengasi? Stavano aspettando che finisse?Il Progetto Grande Fiume Artificiale Libico, 1 Settembre 2010… Nel 1960 durante un’esplorazione petrolifera nel profondo sud del deserto Libico, vaste [...]

  13. [...] recently completed one of the most expensive and advance water works projects in world history- Libya’s Great Man Made River. A 30 year venture, finished only last year, gives Libya the potential for an agricultural and [...]

  14. [...] recently completed one of the most expensive and advance water works projects in world history- Libya’s Great Man Made River.  This 30 year venture finished only last year, gives Libya the potential for an agricultural and [...]

  15. [...] recently completed one of the most expensive and advance water works projects in world history- Libya’s Great Man Made River.  This 30 year venture finished only last year, gives Libya the potential for an agricultural and [...]

  16. real life says:

    to the poeple who disagree with this project i’m telling that even though this project cost a lot you were not living in Libya at that days when we suffered from the sea water intrusion and the paucity of the water for drinking or for the irrigation. Whatever the water will remain or will be used, we can use the fresh water until 2050 almost and we started working to find new resources for the new generation and Allah is with us.

  17. abega minkala says:

    La Lybie a donné l’exemple de ce que doivent faire tous les pays défavorisés.
    La guerre injuste menée actuellement est peut etre une mesure de représaille face à cette volonté de vivre digne et libre.

  18. [...] Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project, September 1, 2010 The 1st of September marks the anniversary of the opening of the major stage of Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project. This incredibly huge and successful water scheme is virtually unknown in the West, yet it rivals and even surpasses all our greatest development projects. The leader of the so-called advanced countries, the United States of America cannot bring itself to acknowledge Libya’s Great Man-Made River. The West refuses to recognize that a small country, with a population no more than four million, can construct anything so large without borrowing a single cent from the international banks. [...]

  19. [...] Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project, September 1, 2010 [...]

  20. [...] Chad, Egito e Sudão) e teve seu aproveitamento focado exatamente na Líbia. A construção do GMMR (Great Manmade River) iniciada em 1983 e que custou mais de US$25bi foi uma revolução na [...]

  21. [...] one of the lowest literacy rates in the world to one of the highest in its region. It built the largest desert irrigation project in the world, employed millions of African labourers and helped fund crucial continent-wide projects such [...]

  22. [...] one of the lowest literacy rates in the world to one of the highest in its region. It built the largest desert irrigation project in the world, employed millions of African labourers and helped fund crucial continent-wide projects such [...]

  23. [...] one of the lowest literacy rates in the world to one of the highest in its region. It built the largest desert irrigation project in the world, employed millions of African labourers and helped fund crucial continent-wide projects such [...]

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