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Middle East and North Africa

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

Land with brown earth and green vegetation in a blue globe view of the Middle East and North Africa from space
The Middle East and North Africa

Ongoing and recent efforts include:

  • Arab-Israeli Water: Current activities with Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians are an outgrowth of involvement since 1994 in the Regional Water Data Banks and the Public Awareness and Water Conservation Projects of the Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources, managed by the Executive Action Team (EXACT) as part of Middle East Peace process. Over the past decade, USGS provided technical assistance to the Department of State on topics of water monitoring and hydrologic data, specifically, facilitating joint meetings of Israeli and Palestinian Water Authorities to discuss water issues of mutual concern including sustainability of groundwater and surface water resources, water monitoring, and integrated water management.
  • Iraq Water: Supporting the Iraq Ministry of Water Resources in remote-sensing based investigations to monitor meteorological and hydrologic conditions of headwaters region of Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Information used to inform management of transboundary flow and reservoir inventories.
  • Middle East Earthquake Hazards: Capacity building and data sharing program for seismic networks in the Arabian Peninsula region


Completed efforts:

  • Aquifer Storage and Recovery: At the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development, USGS helped Jordan and Lebanon to assess suitability for artificial recharge methods to help manage scarce groundwater resources, and improve water supply. Methods developed were suitable for use in the Middle East-North Africa region.
  • Algeria Mineral Resources: Mineral resource assessment of Eglab region in western Algeria along Mauritania border. Two 1-month-long field campaigns and two US-based training sessions for Algerian project members
  • RELEMR: USGS cooperated 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 Volcanic Hazards: A 5-year program with the Saudi Geological Survey providing information for use in planning for urban expansion. Focused on understanding of active volcanism and dating of young eruptive events, Madinah area, on the edge of a volcanic field that has seen historic eruptions and experiences on-going seismicity.
  • Abu Dhabi: USGS partnered with the Abu Dhabi Emirate to collect information on the groundwater resources, 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. Special projects included groundwater modeling, tree ring work, perchlorate contamination, land-use change, and microgravity surveys.


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