Great Man-Made River (GMMR)

Venue : Libya  

The Great Man-Made River (GMMR), is a network of underground pipelines that brings high-quality fresh water from ancient underground aquifers deep in the Nubian Sahara to all Libyan cities for domestic, agriculture, and industry use. It was established in 1983 and it is considered the world's largest irrigation project.

The idea of establishing a man-made river project was mainly due to facing severe water shortages in coastal areas of Libya and lack of renewable water source, whether for urban, agricultural or industrial use. On 28 August 1984, the foundation stone of this project was laid in Sarir, then on 28 August 1986, the Brega plant was inaugurated to start producing the pre-stressed concrete pipes required for the project. The GMMR network extracts water from the underground reserves and transports it to the various cities and towns across the north of Libya using extensive pipeline system with diameters as large as four meters to transport huge quantities of water (2 million cubic meters per day).

The GMMR was originally conceived as having several phases, since 1991 the project has supplied much-needed irrigation and drinking water to populous cities and farming areas in Libya’s north, which previously were dependent on desalination plants and on declining rain-fed aquifers near the coast.

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