The Qattara Depression project is a concept for a macroengineering project in Egypt. The project’s goal is to develop the hydroelectric potential of the Qattara Depression by creating an artificial lake.
The Qattara Depression is a region that is, on average, 60 meters below sea level and is currently a large uninhabited desert.
Water could be channeled into this area by connecting it to the Mediterranean Sea through tunnels and/or canals. The incoming water would then quickly evaporate due to the desert climate.
A controlled balance of inflow and evaporation would provide a continuous flow for hydroelectric power generation from a constructed dam. Eventually, the Qattara Depression would transform into a hypersaline lake or salt pan, as the evaporated seawater would leave behind its salt content.
This would restore the Qattara Depression to its current state, but with soil several meters higher, allowing for salt extraction.
The concept involves digging a large canal or tunnel, ranging from 55 to 100 kilometers in length, depending on the chosen route to the Mediterranean Sea, to convey seawater to this area.
By balancing inflow and evaporation, the water level in the lake could be maintained steadily. The proposed lake levels are at 70, 60, and 50 meters below sea level.
Whether the Egyptians will build it or not is a matter of speculation and depends on various factors, including technical feasibility, environmental considerations, economic viability, and political will.