Gaddafi's grand water project
The great man-made river — the most ambitious project of the Libyan Jamahiriya — is a network of water pipes supplying waterless regions and the northern industrial part of Libya with the purest drinking water from the underground reservoirs of the oases located in the southern part of the country. According to independent experts, this is the world's largest engineering project of the currently existing. The little knownness of the project is explained by the fact that the Western media practically did not cover it, and meanwhile the project overtook the world's largest construction activities in its cost: the cost of the project was 25 billion dollars.
Gaddafi began work on the project back in the 80s, and by the time this war began, it was practically implemented. We note especially: not a cent of foreign money was spent on the construction of the system. And this fact is definitely suggestive, because control over water resources is becoming an increasingly important factor in world politics. Is the current war in Libya the first war for drinking water? After all, there really is a fight for that! The operation of the man-made river is based on the abstraction of water from the 4 huge water reservoirs located in the oases of Hamada, Kufra, Morzuk and Sirt and containing approximately 35 000 cube. kilometers of artesian water! Such a volume of water could completely cover the territory of a country like Germany, while the depth of such a reservoir would be about 100 meters. And according to recent studies, the water from the Libyan artesian sources will last almost 5000 years.
In addition, this water project can rightly be called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” in its scope, as 6,5 transports millions of cubic meters of water through the desert per day, which dramatically increases the area of irrigated desert lands. The project of a man-made river is completely incomparable with what was carried out by Soviet leaders in Central Asia with the aim of irrigating its cotton fields and which led to the Aral disaster. The fundamental difference of the Libyan irrigation project is that the irrigation of agricultural land uses a practically inexhaustible underground, rather than a surface water source, which is easily exposed to significant damage in a short period of time. Transportation of water occurs in a closed way through the use of 4 thousands of kilometers of steel pipes buried deep in the ground. Water from the artesian basins is pumped through 270 mines from a depth of several hundred meters. One cubic meter of crystal clear water from Libyan underground tanks, taking into account all the costs of its extraction and transportation, cost the Libyan state only 35 cents, which is roughly comparable to the cost of a cubic meter of cold water in a large city in Russia, for example, in Moscow. If we take into account the cost of a cubic meter of drinking water in European countries (approximately 2 euros), then the cost of reserves of artesian water in Libyan underground reservoirs is, by the most approximate estimates, almost 60 billion euros. Agree that a similar amount of continuing to grow in the price of the resource may be of much more serious interest than oil.
Before the war, the man-made river irrigated around XNUMHga, actively developed for agriculture. And to the south, on the territory of the Sahara, raised to the surface aryks serve as a watering place for animals. And most importantly, drinking water was supplied to the major cities of the country, in particular the capital Tripoli.
Here are the most important dates in stories Libya's Great Man-Made River Irrigation Project, recognized as the largest in the world in 2008 by the Guinness Book of Records:
• 3 October 1983goda - The General People’s Congress of the Libyan Jamahiriya was convened and an extraordinary session was held, at which the start of funding for the project was announced.
• 28 August 1984 - The Libyan leader is laying the first stone in the project's launch site.
• 26 August 1989 - The second phase of the construction of the irrigation system begins.
• 11 September 1989 - water entered the reservoir in Ajdabiya.
• 28 September 1989 - water enters the Grand Omar-Muktar reservoir.
• 4 September 1991 - water enters the reservoir of the city of Al-Ghardabiya.
• 28 August 1996 - the beginning of the regular water supply to Tripoli.
• 28 September 2007 - water appeared in the town of Garyan.
Due to the fact that countries neighboring Libya, including Egypt, are suffering from a shortage of water resources, it is logical to assume that the Jamahiriya with its water project was quite capable of significantly expanding its influence in the region, starting the green revolution in neighboring countries and, in the literal sense of the word, since due to the irrigation of the North African fields, most of the nutrition problems in Africa would be resolved very quickly, ensuring the countries of the region with economic independence. And the corresponding attempts took place. Gaddafi actively encouraged the peasants of Egypt to come and work in the fields of Libya.
The Libyan water project has become a real slap in the whole West, because both the World Bank and the US State Department are promoting only projects that benefit them, such as the sea water desalination project in Saudi Arabia, which costs $ 4 per cubic meter of water. Obviously, the West is beneficial water shortage - it supports its high price.
It is noteworthy that, speaking at the celebration of the anniversary of the beginning of the construction of the river, 1 of September last year, Gaddafi said: “Now that this achievement of the Libyan people has become obvious, the US threat against our country will double!” Besides, a few years ago, Gaddafi stated that Libyan irrigation project will be "the most serious response to America, which constantly accuses Libya of sympathizing with terrorism and the existence of petrodollars." A very eloquent fact was the support of this project and the former Egyptian President Mubarak. And this is probably not a coincidence.
- Pomytkin Pavel
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