International Programs

Middle East

The USGS has a long history of cooperative studies and research in the Middle East. 

Some of the ongoing USGS efforts in this region include:

1990 Middle East Mosaic With Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea

1990 Middle East Mosaic showing Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea - AVHRR - EROS History Project

(Public domain.)

  • Aquifer Storage and Recovery: At the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development, USGS is helping regional partners manage scarce groundwater resources, and improve water supply, using artificial recharge methods.
  • Regional Water Data Banks: The Regional Water Data Banks project was begun in 1994 as part of the Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources of the Middle East Peace Process. In this context, the USGS works with Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to foster and enable the exchange of consistent, compatible, and reliable water data and information to support decision-making at both local and regional scales.
  • Public Awareness and Water Conservation: The Public Awareness and Water Conservation project, 1996 - 2005, was part of the Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources of the Middle East Peace Process.


  • RELEMR: Since 1992, the USGS has been cooperating with UNESCO on a project for the Reduction of Earthquake Losses in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (RELEMR). More than 15 meetings involving Israel and its neighbors have focused on the exchange of seismological data and the examination of common issues that influence the damage caused by earthquakes.


  • Saudi Arabia: The USGS has had a long-term mission in Saudi Arabia. Although the mission historically has focused on mineral resources, it has recently changed its emphasis and is now concentrating on providing advice to the newly established Saudi Geological Survey.


  • Turkey: The USGS has cooperated with the Kandilli Observatory (a seismological institute in Istanbul) to place seismological detection instruments in Istanbul and surrounding areas to better protect this city from earthquake damage.


  • Abu Dhabi: Since 1988 the USGS has been partnering with the National Drilling Company (NDC) of the Abu Dhabi Emirate to collect information on the ground-water resources of the Emirate, to conduct research on the hydrology of the arid environment, to provide training in water-resources investigations, and to document the results of the cooperative work in scientific publications.



Jeff L Doebrich

Regional Science Advisor, Africa and the Middle East
Branch of International Science Advisors (BISA)
Phone: 703-648-6103