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Libya’s mega river project nears end

The final two phases of Libya’s record-breaking Great Man-made River Project (GMRP) are now under construction, delegates at trade association British Water’s Libyan water industry event Desert & Shore heard this week.

Work is underway on the fourth and fifth phases, with geotechnical surveys also ongoing to determine the possibility of an additional sixth phase.

The GMRP, whose first phase of construction began in 1984, is bringing water from reservoirs deep below the Sahara desert to Libya’s towns and cities on the Mediterranean coast.

Well drilling and pipe laying is ongoing on the Ghadames Wellfield fourth phase and Kufra Wellfield fifth phase of the project. A possible 380km pipeline from Ajdabiya to Tobruk in the north east of the country could be added as a sixth phase, but would require clearing the area of Second World War ordnance, which could take up to two years, said Great Manmade River Authority (GMRA) committee member Abdul Salam Jehawi.

Some $15.5bn (£9.7bn) has been committed so far to the project which is set to cost £12.3bn in total.

Libya’s government is funding the project through its own development budget, through revenue from selling water produced by earlier phases of the project; and through taxes on fuel and tobacco, documentary credits and money orders, trade and industrial licenses and international travel tickets.

Readers' comments (1)

  • M Seshagiri Rao

    This project is being mentioned in various Scientific Journals for over thirty years now and was often being scoffed at as being unsound. This present article indicates that good clean water is indeed there and more is perhaps is yet undiscovered. More information on the quantity and quality of water available in those deep aquifers would be welcome. M Seshagiri Rao FICE

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