Scientists have found a massive aquifer 300 meters below the ground in drought and poverty stricken Turkana County, Kenya. As reported by ITV News, the Lotikipi Basin Aquifer was drilled and contains clean, accessible water that could serve as a supply for Kenya for over 70 years. With proper management, the aquifer should theoretically never run dry because the distant mountains replenish it.
5 aquifers in total have been found in Kenya by utilizing the WATEX System, a space-based exploration technology created by natural resources exploration firm Radar Technologies International (RTI). RTI’s survey was conducted on behalf of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Kenyan government, with financial support by the government of Japan. The Lotikipi aquifer is unquestionably the largest measuring 62-miles by 41-miles and containing approximately 200 billion cubic meters of fresh water. That’s 900% more than Kenya’s current water reserves. 17 million of Kenya’s population of 41 million, lack access to safe water and 28 million do not have adequate sanitation. Abou Amani a UNESCO scientist from the team told ITV News, “We have seen the system and the fact water is there, and that is extremely important and it could be a game changer within the country.”
Alain Gachet, the president of RTI and the man who made the aquifer discoveries, believes that there are more underground water reserves under much of Africa. He says that the WATEX technology will be able to find additional aquifers so they too can be tapped. Originally in the oil business, Gachet used the same technology to find mineral reserves in Africa and to many residents this momentous discovery is far more valuable than oil or gold. The system layers existing radar, satellite and geological maps of the area to create a study of what lies beneath the soil. With a 6.25-meter surface accuracy, the maps are able to work with over 94% certainty. Judi Wakhungu, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, said, “This newly found wealth of water opens a door to a more prosperous future for the people of Turkana and the nation as a whole. We must now work to further explore these resources responsibly and safeguard them for future generations.”