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A grand plan welcomes you
“The Sea in the Sahara” goes as far back as 1874, when French army military officer and geographer Élie Roudaire published an original plan for the setting up of an inland sea in Tunisia and Algeria. Due to rather political than technical reasons, however, this grand scheme never kicked off. The most recent study on the project is dated 1905: it was considered to be unprofitable.
What it is
The term "Chott" refers to shallow reservoirs of brackish water that are typical of sub desert environments and, when not fed by scarce rainfall, turn into salt-crusted basins.
The project entails building a canal between the Gulf of Gabes, on the Mediterranean sea, and the Chott El Jerid. Waters from the canal would pour out into the flatland and flood it to the full, creating a navigable inland sea.
To firmly believe in flooding the chott means to strongly support a project of great importance, the first positive outcomes being to the advantage of the Tunisian economy and environment. Turning thousands of square miles of desert into productive, farmable land could also help tackle ever-increasing issues such as migration and sustainable growth.
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