Russian scientists have discovered an underground river in Sahara. Geologists predict that its water will be enough to supply drinking water to the 50,000-people town of Atar for the next few decades.
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper quotes Russian experts as saying that in the near future Africa may become the largest exporter of drinking water that will soon get more expensive ranking among such profitable goods as oil.
Geologists managed to discover water in the desert with the help of a unique technology, namely remote sensing of the earth's surface from space. According to the director of the research, Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences Vladimir Polivanov, underground waters in Sahara are likely to belong to an artesian basin. The bulk of water reserves on the planet are concentrated in artesian basins.
12,000 years ago Sahara was a flourishing area of the planet. There were forests and a savannah there and the climate was much more humid --Sahara had numerous rivers and lakes then. Over the past 11,000 years, due to the global climatic changes, Sahara has turned into a desert which, however, still has much underground water stored over the previous geological epochs.
Scientists claim that space technologies can help discover water, oil and coal as well as gold and diamonds.