How Rivers Were Built In Libya Right Under The Sahara

Two-thirds of our planet is covered in water, but there isn’t nearly as much freshwater.

Schematic drawing of the project. Note that different routes have been proposed for the not-yet-implemented phases (dashed). Tobruk may for instance end up connected to Ajdabiya instead of to the Jaghboub well field.

Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh and it isn’t distributed evenly at all. Many countries have a freshwater deficit and that’s a serious problem for several of them. A problem that’s solved in different ways.

The most ambitious project was attempted by Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. His impressive creation is known as the Great Man-Made River.

The Great Man-Made River is a network of pipes that supplies fresh water obtained from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System fossil aquifer across Libya.

It is the world’s largest irrigation project. The project utilizes a pipeline system that pumps water from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System from down south in Libya to cities in the populous Libyan northern Mediterranean coast including Tripoli and Benghazi.

The water covers a distance of up to 1,600 kilometers and provides 70% of all freshwater used in Libya.