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Desert Aqua-Net Plan

Creating Lakes in the Desert: A Proposal for Creating a Network of Canals and Exploring New Ways to Inhabit Our Planet

The Desert Aqua-Net Plan is a concept for making use of the desert, which currently accounts for some one-third of the Earth's total land area.
According to this idea, multiple manmade lakes will be created in depressed areas of deserts, after which artificial islands will be built on the lakes. Filled with seawater introduced through canals, the lakes will then be connected to form a water network.
By creating waterways in the desert and transforming arid and semiarid areas into inhabitable land, this plan (which is still in the simulation stage) ultimately seeks to build cities on manmade islands that have been formed on seawater lakes.

Overview of the Plan

Securing water is the key issue when developing a desert. The Desert Aqua-Net Plan therefore places top priority on establishing a water network.

  1. 1. Multiple seawater lakes, each surrounded by a continuous underground wall reaching all the way to the impermeable layer, are created.
  2. 2. Water is recirculated. Pumps are used to transport sea water to lakes. Gravity moves water to neighboring lakes.
  3. 3. A network of canals connects the manmade lakes.
  4. 4. Artificial islands are formed on the lakes.
  5. 5. The transportation network will incorporate both land and water systems.

The System

To create the waterways, the core element of the system, pumps will be used to move water from the ocean to a manmade lake located at a higher elevation. Water collected in the lake will then flow down along natural slopes to many other lakes, eventually returning to the ocean.
If necessary, booster pump stations will be established at several locations along the waterways.
Creating very large lakes is expected to reduce extreme temperatures and increase humidity, creating a comfortable living environment characterized by mild weather on the artificial islands as well as in the areas around the lakes.

Seawater pumping facility

Seawater pumping facility

Scale and Construction Methods

The plan takes advantage of the natural topography (depressed areas) in order to create the lakes.
Each manmade lake, measuring 30 kilometers in diameter and 20 to 30 meters in depth, will be as large as Tokyo Bay. Lakes will be located some 150 kilometers apart.
The water in the lakes will be retained by a continuous, two-meter-thick underground wall that reaches down to the impermeable layer.
The waterways connecting the lakes will be lined with concrete. According to the basic specifications, these canals will measure 50 meters wide and 10 meters deep.
Areas elevated above the lower-lying land become artificial islands upon the introduction of sea water.

Seawater lake and manmade island

Seawater lake and manmade island

Space Utilization

Introducing seawater into the lakes will make it possible to cultivate and use marine resources, including fish and biomass materials.
The canals will be used to transport people and goods, promoting the development of nearby areas as well as the cities established on the manmade islands.
The manmade islands will represent high-tech oases in which technology and nature are harmoniously integrated.
For their energy needs, the cities established on the manmade islands will draw on photovoltaic systems to tap the abundant sunlight or on power-receiving facilities for solar power satellite (SPS) systems constructed on vast stretches of empty desert.

Dunaliella culture pond in Israel

Dunaliella culture pond in Israel

Seawater lake and manmade island

Seawater lake and manmade island


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