A Gigantic Lake Under The Sands...Won't Do Much For The South

Spiky spinifex sprouts in clumps amid a scattering of trees. Low hills stretch for kilometers, covered in red sand dunes. This lonely spot looks much like the rest of the massive Great Victoria desert in Western Australia, more than a day's drive from a city of any size--if there were a road. But buried under the scrub and sand lies a massive lake whose surface would span half of California. Called the Officer Basin, its water flows at least 500 meters down and could be several times that deep. "There are vast quantities of water out there," says Jeff Camkin, manager at the Water & Rivers Commission in Perth. "The real big question is getting it out of the ground."

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