First, a 2009 news clip from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
From the MSM talking heads you’d get the idea that Moammar Gaddafi’s simply skimming off a fortune from the Libyan people and giving them nothing.
We haven’t heard a single mention of what will undoubtedly stand as the greatest legacy of his administration, one of the greatest civil engineering projects in history, created to bring water to the nation’s towns and cities for the next 1,000 years.
It’s called the Great Man Made River, called “the largest water development scheme in the world” by the CIA World Factbook.
The project brings water to the cities of the popular north from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer in the south, a vast underground reservoir of so-called fossil water dating back 40,000 years.
As Water-Technology.net observes, the water system is the world’s largest civil engineering project, which makes the lack of coverage by Western media seem rather odd.
The project has sunk wells into four major aquifer pockets, and current estimates indicate the project could provide for the nation’s water needs for as long as a thousand years.
John Watkins provided some key details in a 2006 BBC World Service report:
With fossil water available in most of Libya’s coastal cities, the government is now beginning to use its water for agriculture.
Over the country as a whole, 130,000 hectares of land will be irrigated for new farms. Some land will be given to small farmers who will grow produce for the domestic market. Large farms, run at first with foreign help, will concentrate on the crops that Libya currently has to import: wheat, oats, corn and barley.
Libya also hopes to make inroads into European and Middle-Eastern markets. An organic grape farm has been set up near Benghazi. Because the soil is so fertile, agronomists hope to grow two cereal crops a year.
It is hard to fault the Libyans on their commitment. They estimate that when the Great Man-Made River is completed, they will have spent almost $20bn. So far, that money has bought 5,000km of pipeline that can transport 6.5 million cubic metres of water a day from over 1,000 desert wells.
As a result, Libya is now a world leader in hydrological engineering, and it wants to export its expertise to other African and Middle-Eastern countries facing the same problems with their water.
And here are some numbers from the project’s website from 2008:
- Approximately 500,000 pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipes have been manufactured to date.
- Approximately 500,000 pipes transported to date. Pipe transportation is [a] continuous process and the work goes on day and night, distance traveled by the transporters is equivalent to the sun and back.
- Over 3,700 km of haul roads was constructed alongside the pipe line trench to enable the heavy truck – trailers to deliver pipe to the installation site
- Phase I: Total Length 1,600 Km.
- Phase II: Total Length 2,155 Km.
- Volume of Trench Excavation 250 Million Cubic Meter.
- The amount of aggregate used in the project : 30,000,000 Ton. Enough to Build 20 pyramids the size of the great pyramid of Khoufu.
- Total Weight of Cement used 7.0 Million Tones.
- Total Length of Pre-Stressing Wire 6.0 Million Kilometers. This would circle the Earth 280 times.
- The 1,300 wells which will be drilled will ultimately produce 6.5 Million cubic meters of water per day.
Given the desperate need for fresh water in North Africa, could it be that Libya’s Great Man Made River is an even more valuable resource than the nation’s considerable oil reserves?
And given that value, in a world where major powers direct military might toward the control of resources — and note that we’re now seeing the first Africom [previously] war — could it be that one of the hidden reasons for Odyssey Dawn in control of oil and water, which may well mix when it comes to causi belli?