The Nubian Sandstone Aquifer

Growing Blue

Nubian Sandstone Aquifer No Longer Renewable

The Nubian Sandstone Aquifer is the largest fossil water aquifer system in the world. Located in the eastern portion of the Sahara Desert, the aquifer contains more than 5 million cubic feet of groundwater – a vital water source for the region, especially for the agriculture sector and for large development projects in Libya and Egypt.

Despite its size, very low recharge rates and decreased rainfall have placed the sustainability of the aquifer in jeopardy. In fact, large amounts of water are still being withdrawn from the aquifer, causing naturally flowing springs to dry up and bringing significant water shortages to the region. In Egypt alone, water levels have declined by nearly 200 feet because of increased water use, causing increased withdrawals from the Nubian Sandstone aquifer.

Regardless of their size or location, water bodies can be depleted if they’re not managed properly. Sadly, this applies even to the largest fossil water aquifer system in the world. To properly manage our future water supplies, it’s important to understand that they can be damaged by overuse.

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