News & AnalysisWATER RESOURCES

Kenyan Find Heralds New Era in Water Prospecting

Science  20 Sep 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6152, pp. 1327
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6152.1327

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Summary

Researchers have discovered five major new aquifers deep under the arid northwestern corner of Kenya, a U.N. program announced last week. The find boosts Kenya's known groundwater reserves by 17% and could be a game-changer in a nation hit hard by droughts over the last several decades. It also highlights advances in the field of water prospecting. By melding traditional geology with data from space- and ground-based sensors and powerful software, researchers are revealing hidden reservoirs in sometimes surprising places. Finding the water is just the first hurdle, however; drilling for it and managing it properly remain major challenges.