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Darfur Lake

April 30, 2007

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

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
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.

HIRSHON:
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.