Scientists in Kenya have discovered a massive underground reserve that could allow the drought-ravaged country to meet its water needs for the next 70 years. Discovered in the desert of Kenya’s Turkana region, the Lotikipi Basin Aquifer contains more than 200 billion cubic meters of fresh water, and is about the size of Rhode Island. All told, the region has at least 250 billion cubic meters of fresh water stored in underground reserves, which are replenished at a rate of 3.4 billion cubic meters per year. The discovery, first reported by ITV News, will be officially announced Wednesday by the Kenyan government and UNESCO, which helped realize the project with funding from the Japanese government.
The project was spearheaded by Alain Gachet, president and CEO of Radar Technologies International (RTI), a France-based natural resources exploration firm. Over the course of six months, Gachet and his team of researchers used RTI’s WATEX mapping system to survey the northern county of Turkana, one of Kenya’s driest and poorest regions.