The lake has shrunk dramatically in the last four decades due to increased water use and low rainfall and is destined to become a "puddle," U.S. scientists said. The African lake bordered by Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon now covers only 1,350 square km (521 sq. miles), down from 25,000 square km (9,653 sq. miles) in 1963, said University of Wisconsin scientists Michael Coe and Jonathan Foley in a report published in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Based on computer models and satellite photographs, the lake's prospects were grim. "It will be a puddle. It will be completely managed. You'll get crops and drinking water out of it, but you'll have no ecosystem left to speak of," Dr. Coe is quoted by Reuters as saying.