Africa deţine, de fapt, resurse uriaşe de apă, susţin cercetătorii

- În urma unor studii recente, oamenii de ştiinţă au descoperit că Africa – notorie pentru cele mai mici rezerve de apă de pe planetă – este, de fapt, aşezată pe un vast rezervor subteran de apă.

Cercetătorii susţin că volumul total din stratul subteran în care apa poate fi găsită – numit acvifer –, este de 100 de ori mai mare decât rezervele de la suprafaţă, anunţă BBC News.

Echipa de cercatare a realizat cea mai detaliată hartă de până acum cu privire la amploarea şi potenţialul acestei resurse ascunse şi atât de preţioase.

Cifrele arată că, în Africa, mai mult de 300 de milioane de oameni nu au acces la apă potabilă, şi se aşteaptă ca cererea de apă să crească semnificativ în următoarele decenii, determinată de creşteriea populaţiei şi de necesitatea de irigare a culturilor locale.

De altfel, râurile şi lacurile de apă dulce sunt supuse schimărilor de sezon. Acesta fie provoacă inundaţii, fie îşi reduc drastic nivelul de apă, limtându-le, astfel, localnicilor, accesul la apă pentru consum sau agricultură.

În prezent, doar 5% din terenul arabil al Africii este irigat.

Cercetatorii de la British Geological Survey şi University College din Londra (UCL) au analizat în detaliu valoarea şi randamentul potenţial al acestei resurse de apă subterană de pe continent.

Evoluţia rezervelor de apă ale Africii

Datorită schimbărilor climatice care au transformat Sahara într-un deşert de- a lungul secolelor, structurile acvifere au fost ultima dată umplute acum 5.000 de ani.

Oamenii de ştiintă au adunat toate informaţiile existente ale guvernelor naţionale cu privire la hărţile hidro-geologice, combinate cu 283 de studii ale structurilor acvifere ale Africii.

Totuşi, oamenii de ştiinţă sunt prudenţi când vine vorba de modalitatea optimă de accesare a acestor resurse ascunse. Ei sugerează că extracţia masivă a resurselor de apă ar putea să nu funcţioneze, deoarece unele structuri acvifere conţin apă din cauza lipsei de ploaie. Iar extracţiile la scară largă ar putea epuiza, rapid, resursele continentului.

Potrivit lui Helen Bonsor care a făcut parte din echipa de cercetare, metodele mai lente de extracţie s-ar putea dovedi mult mai eficiente. “Efortul nostru arată că prin explorarea atentă, progresivă, resursele subterane ale Africii se vor dovedi suficiente pentru a sprijini aprovizionarea cu apă potabilă şi irigaţiile la nivelul comunităţilor.”

“Chiar şi în acvifere mai mici, din zonele semi-aride cu precipitaţii extrem de reduse, rezervele de apă pot rămâne stocate în subteran de la 20 până la 70 de ani,” a adăugat dr.. Bonsor, de la UCL.

 

 

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