Boston University scientists recently utilized radar data to uncover a large underground lake--about the size of Massachusetts--in the Darfur region of Sudan. I'm woefully unfamiliar with the civil strife in Darfur (as, I imagine, most Americans are), but I'm skeptical that this water finding is as much the solution to the problems there as the headlines and article quotes indicate.
To be sure, water is better than no water, just as employment is better than unemployment. But it's not clear from the articles exactly how much water is in this lake (as big as Massachusetts, but how deep?), when it can begin to be utilized, or how long it can be projected to last (will it be exploited something like the Oglala aquifer?). Add in political strife that must run deeper than water shortages and the effects of climate change that are likely to stretch water resources even thinner in that part of the world, and this lake might not buy much time at all.
Sorry, I guess I'm just cynical today. I'm seeing the lake as half-empty rather than half-full. Har. har. har.
Update: It looks like the media may have jumped on this bandwagon way too soon, apparently ignoring the likelihood that this "mega-lake" is actually dry. Shocking.