At 2007 consumption rates, it has enough water to last 1,000 years. Gaddafi called it the "Eighth Wonder of the World."
He wanted it developed to provide all Libyans with free fresh water for human consumption, irrigation and other needs. When fully operational, he hoped to make the desert green as Libya's flag.
Imagine what occupiers plan for it now. Gaddafi's dream died with him. Mahmoudi's now threatened.
In August 2011, he fled to Tunisia for his safety. In September, Tunisian border police arrested him. Charged with illegally entering the country, he was sentenced to six months in prison.
At the time, the judgment was overturned. However, Tunisian authorities held him pending Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) extradition request.
On November 8, 2011, The New York Times headlined "Qaddafi's Ex-Prime Minister Ordered Extradited to Libya," saying:
A Tunisian appeals court approved extraditing him. A precise date wasn't set. The ruling came despite human rights groups and other governments voicing concerns for his safety.
Amnesty International (AI) petitioned Tunisian authorities on his behalf. AI's North African representative James Lynch feared he'd "face real risks, serious human rights violations, including torture, extrajudicial execution and unfair trial."