Lake Chad

Quick Facts: Lake Chad
Countries: Chad Cameroon Niger Nigeria
Shore length: 650 km
Surface area: (2005) 1.350 km² (520 mi²)
Avg. Depth: 1.5 m
Max. depth: 11 m
Water volume: 72 km³ (17 cu mi)
Surface elevation: 278 – 286 m (912 – 938 ft)
Primary outflows: Soro & Bodélé depressions

Lake Chad, or Lac Tchad in french, is a lake in Africa located at the boundaries of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. It is fed primarily by the Chari (Shari) and Logone rivers.

The lake has no visible outlet but remains fresh as a result of subterranean drainage. The area of the lake has always varied with seasonal rainfall. In modern times it has fluctuated between 3,900 and 10,000 square miles (10,000 and 26,000 sq km).

From the 1970s a prolonged drought spurred the construction of irrigation systems along the rivers. Together, drought and irrigation reduced the flow of the rivers by 75% and reduced the lake to less than 580 square miles (1,500 sq km) by century’s end, threatening crops and fish stocks.

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