Flooding the Sahara

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. Unconsensual Banned

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    I don't think the French knew how long it took for top-soil to form. Literally hundreds of years per inch in the best conditions (grassland), at best this project would improve rainfall and temperature. But I think it would be cheaper just to treat the existing soil with better agricultural practices.
     
  2. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    One thing I wonder - would using desalinization eventually be able to turn these lakes Freshwater? and would that be even more beneficial?
     
  3. Unconsensual Banned

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    Not likely, any water you bring in would be sea water. The region's evaporation exceeded rainfall so you'd have to constantly desalinize the water, fighting against the sun itself. Not to mention salty ground water that you can't reach and salt buildup in the soils, which would require more fresh water to leach.
     
  4. jackalope To Serve Man -- Twilight Zone

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    My guess is the rainfall addition to the basin would be fairly secondary
    (and widely variable year to year) for a variety of reasons. Also, at
    present, since the rainfall comes in spurts in classic desert alluvial
    fan gulleywashers, which change course often, much if not most is
    wasted and allowed to fill the pan and dry up. No, the best source
    of cash and reason for the iniitial outlay would be the salt. It flows
    in through the salt water canal, harvested in onion rings of shallow
    paddies, and returned to world markets via the same canal in low
    draft barges. It might just work. But unlike the Qattra or Dead Sea,
    about 400 ft. and 1300 ft. respectively, the drop is inconsequential
    so to not be worth the effort of electricity generation, only 35 feet
    for about a half section of basin.