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Region:  

Middle East

  Contact: Dr. Michael P. Foose, mfoose@usgs.gov
  Projects:

Reduction of Earthquake Losses in the Eastern Mediterranean Region
Regional Water Data Banks
      EXACT
      Hydrogeologic Databases
      Overview of Middle East Water Resources
      Rainfall Intensity
      Temporal Trends for Water-Resource Data
      Water Quality Information Enhancement
Public Awareness and Water Conservation
      RainCatcher
      WaterCare
Seismicity Study in Turkey
Ground-Water Research Program for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Enhancing Ground-water Management in Jordan
Summary of Palestinian Hydrologic Data 2000

Globe showing the Middle Eastern region


Working on the Middle East Water Databank project
Working on the Middle East Water Databank project

Working on the Public Awareness and Water Conservation project
Working on the Public Awareness
and Water Conservation project


Seismic map of Turkey
Seismic map of Turkey

USGS and NDC personnel obtain field water-quality parameters from a farm well near Al Hayer in southeastern Abu Dhabi.
USGS and NDC personnel obtain field water-quality parameters from a farm well near Al Hayer in southeastern Abu Dhabi.

  Overview: The USGS has a long history of involvement in the Middle East. The most sustained of these efforts began in 1942 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and continues today. Some of the ongoing USGS efforts in this region include:

  • 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.
    • Regional Water Data Banks - EXACT: The Regional Water Data Banks project, begun in 1994, is managed by a steering committee known as the Executive Action Team (EXACT). The USGS serves as the Gavelholder and Executive Secretary of EXACT, hosts the semi-annual meetings, and directs implementation of U.S. technical contributions.
    • Regional Water Data Banks - Hydrogeologic Databases: The USGS is working with Middle East water agencies to develop hydrogeologic databases for these agencies. The project includes an initial focus on GIS/geodatabase training, joint database design, and planning for a regional forum on hydrogeologic research and nomenclature.
    • Regional Water Data Banks - Overview of Middle East Water Resources: The USGS worked with regional water resources agencies to provide a broad depiction of the overall water conditions in the region based on areal and site-specific hydrologic, meteorologic, and geologic information. A report titled “Overview of Middle East Water Resources, Water Resources of Palestinian, Jordanian, and Israeli Interest” was published in1998 (http://www.exact-me.org).
    • Regional Water Data Banks - Rainfall Intensity: The USGS is working with Middle East hydrologic and meteorologic agencies to develop analytical software and to provide training in the use of rainfall intensity database and analysis software known as RAINDIGITIZER and RAINPLOT respectively. Phase II of the work is being initiated and will use the software for a multilateral, joint analysis of rainfall data from the region.
    • Regional Water Data Banks - Temporal Trends for Water-Resource Data: The USGS worked with regional water resources agencies to conduct data analysis focused on looking for time-related trends relative to groundwater levels, discharge from springs, stream flow, and chloride and nitrate concentrations in groundwater samples. A report titled “Temporal Trends for Water-Resources Data in Areas of Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian Interest” was published in 2000.
    • Regional Water Data Banks - Water Quality Information Enhancement: The USGS is working with Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to help them improve their water quality data and analysis. The program includes improvements in field measurements, laboratory reviews, quality assurance, and the development of a regional Water Quality Field Manual adopted by Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian water agencies.

  • Public Awareness and Water Conservation: The Public Awareness and Water Conservation project was begun in 1996 as part of the Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources of the Middle East Peace Process. As part of this effort, the USGS works with Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to foster and support increased awareness of water issues within the region from a multilateral perspective. The activity has included the development of a video, a Student Resource Book that was published in Hebrew, Arabic, and English; and now is beginning a pilot rain harvesting system in selected schools. The project integrates science and education of youth in the project area.
    • Public Awareness and Water Conservation Project - RainCatcher: In the RainCatcher project, the USGS is working with Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian students and teachers, political leaders, NGO's, and water system design experts to design and build a rain harvesting system for a total of six schools. The harvested water will be used to supplement the potable water supply and will, potentially, substantially reduce the cost of water for the participating schools.

    • Public Awareness and Water Conservation Project - WaterCare: The Public Awareness and Water Conservation project was begun in 1996 as part of the Middle East Peace Process. As part of this effort, the USGS worked with Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian writers and graphics designers to prepare a Student Resource Book on water in the region, along with a Teacher's Guide and a complementary website.
  • Summary of Palestinian Hydrologic Data 2000 : The USGS, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, worked with the Palestinian Water Authority to identify, gather, and quality assure all of the historic water quality data available for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Two summary water data reports were published - one for the West Bank and one for the Gaza Strip. The project now has been completed.

  • Enhancing Ground-water Management in Jordan: The USAID-funded project began in April 2004. The project will: augment the ability of the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation to develop, manage, and use hydrogeologic data and information; develop ground-water optimization modeling capabilities in the Ministry; and develop a pilot outreach and public?involvement program. A USGS hydrogeologist stationed in Amman is guiding a team of junior Jordanian hydrogeologists who will be trained to continue project activities after the project ends in 2007. The overall project goal is to help the Ministry to reach the goal of sustainable management of Jordan's limited water resources.

  • 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.
     
     

 
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