Abundant Freshwater Reserves Discovered Under Ocean Floor

Here’s something that I thought readers here would find interesting — it was surprising to me, and illustrated how little we know about our planet, particularly what lies underground and undersea. The article comes from Business Insider, via Agence France Presse and reports that researchers from Flinders University in Australia have discovered that huge aquifers beneath the continental shelf off many continents are a common phenomenon, and not rare occurrences as many have previously thought.


Lead researcher Vincent Post said of the discovery:

“The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we’ve extracted from the Earth’s sub-surface in the past century since 1900 . . . Freshwater on our planet is increasingly under stress and strain so the discovery of significant new stores off the coast is very exciting.

“It means that more options can be considered to help reduce the impact of droughts and continental water shortages.”

Details of the research behind this discovery can be found in an article published in the most recent issue of the journal Nature (for a fee). Of course accessing this water deep in the earth’s crust will not be a simple matter. It will require either onshore or offshore drilling and pumping facilities, as well as pipelines or other transportation systems.

We’ve talked many times here about the potential for LENR technology to make desalination of seawater on a large scale possible and it may well be simpler and less expensive to desalinate than to drill and pump. However, now there may be another resource available to provide water for agriculture, domestic uses and other purposes.


  • GreenWin

    A good place for oil rigs to evolve to?? Can they compete with LENR thermal desal??

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Here’s another surprise:
    “Libya’s Man-Made River has tapped huge aquifer in the Sahara”

    http://gregoryfegel.sulekha.com/blog/post/2011/03/libya-s-man-made-river-has-tapped-huge-aquifer-in.htm

    • Asterix

      I recall reading about a vast Egyptian Saharan deep aquifer in the 1960s, so this is hardly surprising. I trust that Libya will be able to manage theirs so that it remains sustainable for many decades.

      India’s “food explosion” may be drawing to an end as dropping water tables and climate change take their toll:

      http://www.earth-policy.org/books/out/ote6_2

      Even in the US, the huge Ogallala aquifer has a very cloudy future.