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Darfur Lake

April 30, 2007

Satellite imagery may have opened a window of hope for the war-torn Darfur region.


Ancient water for a modern conflict. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A war-torn desert region of Africa was once home to an ancient mega-lake, and some of that water may still be there. Geologist Farouk El-Baz is director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing. He says satellite radar data show that thousands of years ago, the dry Darfur region in Sudan was a savannah with a lake the size of Massachusetts. His team is certain that deep wells could tap the remains of that lake.

FAROUK EL-BAZ (Boston University):
The reason we are absolutely convinced is that we do have a very similar structure in Egypt, and there is potentially 150,000 acres of arable land, and the water that’s available there could supply all of these acres over 100 years.

Since the brutal conflict in Darfur is in part over water, there’s hope that this new source could help bring peace. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.