Cool discovery of the week: scientists have found a massive aquifer in northern Namibia, the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, and even though its water is 10,000 years old, it's still way safer to drink than the country's other options. "The amount of stored water would equal the current supply of this area in northern Namibia for 400 years, which has about 40 percent of the nation's population," said project manager and hydrologist Martin Quinger in a BBC report, Quinger is in charge of the water project, a collaboration between state-owned Namibia Water Corp. and the German federal institute of geosciences and natural resources. The aquifer, a underground water source, has been named the Ohangwena II. The initial discovery of Ohangwena II was reported by Namibian papers last week, and as Bloomberg Businessweek notes that it flows underneath the borders of Namibia and Angola. The BBC adds, "On the Namibian side of the border it covers an area roughly 70 km by 40 km (43 miles by 25 miles)." WeFor a country that's seen its history peppered with bouts of drought--the country's Prime Minister today just approved a $4 million in drought-relief aid to the country's Kunene Region--the aquifer spells great news, as the BBC adds that "researchers estimate that it could act as a natural buffer for up to 15 years of drought." And what about the water quality? Quinger adds, "If the water [has spent] 10,000 years underground, it means it was recharged at a time when environmental pollution was not yet an issue, so on average it can be a lot better than water that infiltrates in cycles of months or years."
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