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[[Overview of Africa Groundwater Atlas | Africa Groundwater Atlas]] >> [[Hydrogeology by country | Hydrogeology by country]] >> Hydrogeology of Somalia
 
[[Overview of Africa Groundwater Atlas | Africa Groundwater Atlas]] >> [[Hydrogeology by country | Hydrogeology by country]] >> Hydrogeology of Somalia
 
[[File:CC-BY-SA_logo_88x31.png | frame | This work is licensed under a [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License]]]
 
 
In history, the area of present-day Somalia was the site of several powerful empires, and an important commercial centre, including trading in spices with merchants from India. Islam arrived before the 9th century, and Islamic sultanates dominated the region into European colonial times, making treaties with European forces from the 17th century onwards. In the late 19th century Britain and Italy gained control of British Somaliland in the south and Italian Somaliland in the north, respectively. Ethiopia and France also laid claims to part of present-day Somalia. Italian Somaliland was taken by Britain in 1941, later becoming a UN trusteeship under Italian administration. In 1960 the two regions united to become the independent Somali Republic.
 
 
Initially under a civilian government, a coup in 1969 was followed by military or one-party rule through the 1970s and 80s. Military conflict with Ethiopia in the 1970s was a foreshadowing of the Somali civil war that began in 1991, during which time Somalia was viewed as a ‘failed state’. With no central governmental authority for several years, many areas returned to customary or religious law. Parts of the south were held by various Islamic groups; Somaliland in the north declared itself an independent state; and Puntland in the northeast declared itself an autonomous region within Somalia. Transitional institutions were established from 2000 in parts of the country, but much of the south remained under the control of various groups, including Al-Shabaab. Various attempts at peace talks, coalition government and other transitional governance, at the same time as military operations, continued throughout the 2000s, until a transitional federal government was formed in 2012. However, there is significant ongoing instability. Somaliland is a self-declared sovereign state currently recognised by the internationally community as an autonomous territory, and Puntland also considers itself an autonomous state. These two regions remain slightly more stable than the still-contested southern zones, including the capital, Mogadishu.
 
 
Although Somalia remains poor, with a low GDP per capita, the war did not have as drastic effect on the economy as may have been expected. In part this is because the maintenance of traditional governance in some regions made private sector activity possible, often funded by remittances from the extensive Somali diaspora. Such activities include communications, money transfer and transport industries. Agriculture, mainly livestock, dominates the economy: most of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic pastoralists. As well as livestock – often to Gulf states – other key exports include fish, charcoal and bananas. Recent developments have included fish and meat processing and other manufacturing plants.
 
 
A semi-arid to arid country, Somalia has very restricted water resources. There are only two permanent rivers, both in the south. Elsewhere, all rivers are ephemeral, flowing only for hours or days. Groundwater is the sole water resource for most of the country, in rural and urban areas. However, because of low rainfall and widely deep groundwater tables, accessing groundwater is difficult, and expensive, in much of the country.
 
  
  
 
==Authors==
 
==Authors==
  
'''Hussein Gadain''', Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Kenya
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Hussein Gadain, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Kenya
 
 
'''Dr Zoran Stevanovic''', University of Belgrade, Serbia
 
  
'''Dr Kirsty Upton''' and '''Brighid Ó Dochartaigh''', British Geological Survey, UK
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Zoran Stevanovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  
'''Dr Imogen Bellwood-Howard''', Institute of Development Studies, UK
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Kirsty Upton and Brighid Ó Dochartaigh, British Geological Survey, UK
  
Please cite this page as: Gadain, Stevanovic, Upton, Ó Dochartaigh and Bellwood-Howard, 2018.
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Please cite this page as: Gadain, Stevanovic, Upton & Ó Dochartaigh, 2016.
  
Bibliographic reference: Gadain H, Stevanovic Z, Upton K. Ó Dochartaigh BÉ and Bellwood-Howard, I. 2018. Africa Groundwater Atlas: Hydrogeology of Somalia. British Geological Survey. Accessed [date you accessed the information]. http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/Hydrogeology_of_Somalia
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Bibliographic reference: Gadain, H., Stevanovic, Z., Upton, K. & Ó Dochartaigh, B.É. 2016. Africa Groundwater Atlas: Hydrogeology of Somalia. British Geological Survey. Accessed [date you accessed the information]. http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/Hydrogeology_of_Somalia
  
 
==Terms and conditions==
 
==Terms and conditions==
  
The Africa Groundwater Atlas is hosted by the British Geological Survey (BGS) and includes information from third party sources. Your use of information provided by this website is at your own risk. If reproducing diagrams that include third party information, please cite both the Africa Groundwater Atlas and the third party sources. Please see the [[Africa Groundwater Atlas Terms of Use | Terms of use]] for more information.
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The Africa Groundwater Atlas is hosted by the British Geological Survey (BGS) and includes information from third party sources. Your use of information provided by this website is at your own risk. If reproducing diagrams that include third party information, please cite both the Africa Groundwater Atlas and the third party sources. Please see the [[Africa Groundwater Atlas Terms and Conditions | Terms and Conditions]] for more information.
  
 
==Geographical Setting==
 
==Geographical Setting==
  
[[File: Somalia_Political.png | right | frame | Somalia. Map developed from USGS GTOPOPO30; GADM global administrative areas; and UN Revision of World Urbanization Prospects. For more information on the map development and datasets see the [[Geography | geography resource page]].]]
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[[File: Somalia_Political.png | right | frame | Somalia (For more information on the datasets used in the map see the [[Geography | geography resources section]])]]  
  
 
===General===
 
===General===
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{| class = "wikitable"
 
{| class = "wikitable"
 
|-
 
|-
|Capital city || Mogadishu
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|Estimated Population in 2013* || 10,495,583
 
|-
 
|-
|Region || Eastern Africa
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|Rural Population (% of total) (2013)* || 61.4%
 
|-
 
|-
|Border countries || Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya
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|Total Surface Area* || 627,340 sq km
 
|-
 
|-
|Total surface area* || 637,660 km<sup>2</sup>  (63,766,000 ha)
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|Agricultural Land (% of total area) (2012)* || 70.3%
 
|-
 
|-
|Total population (2015)* || 10,787,000
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|Capital City || Mogadishu
 
|-
 
|-
|Rural population (2015)* || 6,388,000 (59%)
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|Region || Eastern Africa
 
|-
 
|-
|Urban population (2015)* || 4,399,000 (41%)
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|Border Countries || Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya
 
|-
 
|-
|UN Human Development Index (HDI) [highest = 1] *|| No data
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|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal (2013)* || 3,298 Million cubic metres
 +
|-
 +
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Agriculture (2013)* || 99.48%
 +
|-
 +
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Domestic Use (2013)* || 0.45%
 +
|-
 +
|Annual Freshwater Withdrawal for Industry (2013)* || 0.06%
  
 
|}
 
|}
  
<nowiki>*</nowiki> Source: [http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/data/query/index.html?lang=en FAO Aquastat]
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<nowiki>*</nowiki> Source: World Bank
  
  
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The little seasonal variation in climate is largely related to changes in wind patterns. There is a main monsoonal wet season in April and May, and a smaller wet season in October and November.  
 
The little seasonal variation in climate is largely related to changes in wind patterns. There is a main monsoonal wet season in April and May, and a smaller wet season in October and November.  
  
[[File: Somalia_ClimateZones.png | 375x365px |Koppen Geiger Climate Zones]][[File: Somalia_ClimatePrecip.png | 375x365px |Average Annual Precipitation]][[File: Somalia_ClimateTemp.png | 375x365px |Average Temperature]]
 
  
[[File: Somalia_pre_Monthly.png| 255x124px| Average monthly precipitation for Somalia showing minimum and maximum (light blue), 25th and 75th percentile (blue), and median (dark blue) rainfall]] [[File: Somalia_tmp_Monthly.png| 255x124px| Average monthly temperature for COUNTRY showing minimum and maximum (orange), 25th and 75th percentile (red), and median (black) temperature]] [[File: Somalia_pre_Qts.png | 255x124px | Quarterly precipitation over the period 1950-2012]] [[File: Somalia_pre_Mts.png|255x124px | Monthly precipitation (blue) over the period 2000-2012 compared with the long term monthly average (red)]]
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<gallery widths="375px" heights=365px mode=nolines>
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File: Somalia_ClimateZones.png |Koppen Geiger Climate Zones
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File: Somalia_ClimatePrecip.png |Average Annual Precipitation
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File: Somalia_ClimateTemp.png |Average Temperature
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</gallery>
 +
 
 +
Rainfall time-series and graphs of monthly average rainfall and temperature for each individual climate zone can be found on the [[Climate of Somalia | Somalia Climate Page]].  
  
More information on average rainfall and temperature for each of the climate zones in Somalia can be seen at the [[Climate of Somalia | Somalia climate page]].
 
  
These maps and graphs were developed from the CRU TS 3.21 dataset produced by the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK. For more information see the [[Climate | climate resource page]].
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[[File: Somalia_pre_Monthly.png| 255x124px| Average monthly precipitation for Somalia showing minimum and maximum (light blue), 25th and 75th percentile (blue), and median (dark blue) rainfall]] [[File: Somalia_tmp_Monthly.png| 255x124px| Average monthly temperature for COUNTRY showing minimum and maximum (orange), 25th and 75th percentile (red), and median (black) temperature]] [[File: Somalia_pre_Qts.png | 255x124px | Quarterly precipitation over the period 1950-2012]] [[File: Somalia_pre_Mts.png|255x124px | Monthly precipitation (blue) over the period 2000-2012 compared with the long term monthly average (red)]]
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For further detail on the climate datasets used see the [[Climate | climate resources section]].
  
 
===Surface water===
 
===Surface water===
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{|
 
{|
 
|-
 
|-
 +
|
 +
| [[File: Somalia_Hydrology.png | frame | centre| Major surface water features of Somalia (For more information on the datasets used in the map see the [[Surface water | surface water resources section]])]]
 +
|}
  
|Somalia has only two permanent rivers, the Juba and the Shabelle, both of which begin in the Ethiopian Highlands and flow southwards. In the north of the country, the arid and semi-arid climate means that all rivers are ephemeral and flashy, with water flowing for only a few hours to days after rainfall events, and there are no river gauging stations in these rivers.  
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Somalia has only two permanent rivers, the Juba and the Shabelle, both of which begin in the Ethiopian Highlands and flow southwards. In the north of the country, the arid and semi-arid climate means that all rivers are ephemeral and flashy, with water flowing for only a few hours to days after rainfall events, and there are no river gauging stations in these rivers.  
  
 
Before the civil war in 1991, the Ministry of Agriculture was mandated to operate river flow and climate gauging stations. Daily river level readings date back to 1951 for the two furthest upstream stations on the two rivers at the border with Ethiopia, although these records include many gaps. Data were not collected at other stations until 1963, when a network of gauging stations was established and data was collected until 1991 with few discharge measurements for rating curve establishment. During the subsequent civil war, the hydrometric network fell into complete disrepair, with no monitoring and collection of water level data until early 2000s. In 2001, FAO established the Somali Water and Land Information Management under the [http://www.faoswalim.org FAO/SWALIM] project.  
 
Before the civil war in 1991, the Ministry of Agriculture was mandated to operate river flow and climate gauging stations. Daily river level readings date back to 1951 for the two furthest upstream stations on the two rivers at the border with Ethiopia, although these records include many gaps. Data were not collected at other stations until 1963, when a network of gauging stations was established and data was collected until 1991 with few discharge measurements for rating curve establishment. During the subsequent civil war, the hydrometric network fell into complete disrepair, with no monitoring and collection of water level data until early 2000s. In 2001, FAO established the Somali Water and Land Information Management under the [http://www.faoswalim.org FAO/SWALIM] project.  
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Data on current and historical river flows for the Juba and Shabelle rivers, including data availability for both pre-war (1951 to 1990) and post war (2000s-date) periods, is acceessible through the [http://www.faoswalim.org/water/water-resources/surface-water FAO/SWALIM website]
 
Data on current and historical river flows for the Juba and Shabelle rivers, including data availability for both pre-war (1951 to 1990) and post war (2000s-date) periods, is acceessible through the [http://www.faoswalim.org/water/water-resources/surface-water FAO/SWALIM website]
 
| [[File: Somalia_Hydrology.png | frame | centre| Major surface water features of Somalia. Map developed from World Wildlife Fund HydroSHEDS; Digital Chart of the World drainage; and FAO Inland Water Bodies. For more information on the map development and datasets see the [[Surface water | surface water resource page]].]]
 
 
|
 
 
|}
 
 
 
  
 
===Soil===
 
===Soil===
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|[[File: Somalia_soil.png | frame | Soil Map of Somalia, from the European Commission Joint Research Centre: European Soil Portal. For more information on the map see the [[Soil | soil resource page]].]]
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|[[File: Somalia_soil.png | frame | Soil Map of Somalia (For map key and more information on the datasets used in the map see the [[Soil | soil resources section]])]]
 
|
 
|
 
|}
 
|}
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| [[File: Somalia_LandCover.png | frame | Land Cover Map of Somalia, from the European Space Agency GlobCover 2.3, 2009. For more information on the map see the [[Land cover | land cover resource page]].]]
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| [[File: Somalia_LandCover.png | frame | Land Cover Map of Somalia (For map key and more information on the datasets used in the map see the [[Land cover | land cover resources section]])]]
|
 
 
|}
 
|}
 
 
===Water statistics===
 
 
{| class = "wikitable"
 
| ||2003||2011||2012||2014||2015
 
|-
 
|Rural population with access to safe drinking water (%) || ||8.8 ||  || ||
 
|-
 
|Urban population with access to safe drinking water (%) ||69.6 || ||  || ||
 
|-
 
|Population affected by water related disease || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Total internal renewable water resources (cubic metres/inhabitant/year) || || ||  ||556.2 ||
 
|-
 
|Total exploitable water resources (Million cubic metres/year) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Freshwater withdrawal as % of total renewable water resources ||22.44|| || || ||
 
|-
 
|Renewable groundwater resources (Million cubic metres/year) || || ||600 || ||
 
|-
 
|Groundwater produced internally (Million cubic metres/year) || || ||  ||3,300 ||
 
|-
 
|Fresh groundwater withdrawal (primary and secondary) (Million cubic metres/year) ||131|| || || ||
 
|-
 
|Groundwater: entering the country (total) (Million cubic metres/year) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Groundwater: leaving the country to other countries (total) (Million cubic metres/year) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Industrial water withdrawal (all water sources) (Million cubic metres/year) ||2|| || || ||
 
|-
 
|Municipal water withdrawal (all water sources) (Million cubic metres/year)  ||15 || || || ||
 
|-
 
|Agricultural water withdrawal (all water sources) (Million cubic metres/year) ||3,281 || || || ||
 
|-
 
|Irrigation water withdrawal (all water sources) <sup>1</sup> (Million cubic metres/year) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
|-
 
|Irrigation water requirement (all water sources) <sup>1</sup> (Million cubic metres/year) ||263 ||  || || ||
 
|-
 
|Area of permanent crops (ha) || || ||  ||25,000||
 
|-
 
|Cultivated land (arable and permanent crops) (ha) || || ||  ||1,125,000 ||
 
|-
 
|Total area of country cultivated (%) || || ||  || 1.764||
 
|-
 
|Area equipped for irrigation by groundwater (ha) ||10,000|| ||  || ||
 
|-
 
|Area equipped for irrigation by mixed surface water and groundwater (ha) || No data || No data || No data || No data || No data
 
 
|}
 
 
These statistics are sourced from [http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/main/index.stm FAO Aquastat]. They are the most recent available information in the Aquastat database. More information on the derivation and interpretation of these statistics can be seen on the FAO Aquastat website.
 
 
Further water and related statistics can be accessed at the [http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/data/query/index.html?lang=en Aquastat Main Database].
 
 
<sup>1</sup> More information on [http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/water_use_agr/index.stm irrigation water use and requirement statistics]
 
 
  
 
==Geology==
 
==Geology==
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This section provides a summary of the geology of Somalia. More detail can be found in the references listed at the bottom of this page. Many of these references can be accessed through the [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/index.cfm Africa Groundwater Literature Archive].
 
This section provides a summary of the geology of Somalia. More detail can be found in the references listed at the bottom of this page. Many of these references can be accessed through the [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/index.cfm Africa Groundwater Literature Archive].
  
The geology map on this page shows a simplified overview of the geology at a national scale (see [[Geology | the Geology resources page]] for more details).  
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The geology map on this page shows a simplified version of the geology at a national scale (see [[Geology | the Geology resources page]] for more details). A more detailed geological map at 1:1,500,000 is also published (see Geology: key references, below).
  
[https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/downloadGIS.html '''Download a GIS shapefile of the Somalia geology and hydrogeology map'''].
 
  
A more detailed geological map at 1:1,500,000 has also been published (see Geology: key references, below).
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[[File: Somalia_Geology3.png | centre| border| 400px]]
 
 
 
 
[[File:Somalia_Geology4.png | center | thumb| 400px | Geology of Somalia at 1:5 million scale. Based on map described by Persits et al. 2002/Furon and Lombard 1964. For more information on the map development and datasets see the [[Geology | geology resource page]]. [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/downloadGIS.html Download a GIS shapefile of the Somalia geology and hydrogeology map].]]
 
  
 
{| class = "wikitable"
 
{| class = "wikitable"
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This section provides a summary of the hydrogeology of the main aquifers in Somalia.  More information is available in the references listed at the bottom of this page. Many of these references can be accessed through the [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/index.cfm Africa Groundwater Literature Archive].
 
This section provides a summary of the hydrogeology of the main aquifers in Somalia.  More information is available in the references listed at the bottom of this page. Many of these references can be accessed through the [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/index.cfm Africa Groundwater Literature Archive].
  
The hydrogeology map on this page shows a simplified overview of the type and productivity of the main aquifers at a national scale (see the [[Africa Groundwater Atlas Hydrogeology Maps | Hydrogeology map resource page]] for more details).  
+
The hydrogeology map on this page shows a simplified version of the type and productivity of the main aquifers at a national scale (see the [[Hydrogeology Map | Hydrogeology Map]] resource page for more details).  
  
[https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/downloadGIS.html '''Download a GIS shapefile of the Somalia geology and hydrogeology map'''].
 
  
[[File:Somalia_Hydrogeology4.png | center | thumb| 450px | Hydrogeology of Somalia at 1:5 million scale. For more information on how the map was developed see the [[Africa Groundwater Atlas Hydrogeology Maps | Hydrogeology map]] resource page. [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/downloadGIS.html Download a GIS shapefile of the Somalia geology and hydrogeology map].]].
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[[File: Somalia_Hydrogeology3.png| centre| border| 400px]]
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'''Summary'''
 
'''Summary'''
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Groundwater quality is a major issue. Most groundwater sources have salinity levels above 2,000 µS/cm. Many of the shallow wells are also unprotected and vulnerable to microbiological and other contamination (FAO/SWALIM 2012).
 
Groundwater quality is a major issue. Most groundwater sources have salinity levels above 2,000 µS/cm. Many of the shallow wells are also unprotected and vulnerable to microbiological and other contamination (FAO/SWALIM 2012).
  
A number of studies have laid down a good base for further hydrogeological works (see Hydrogeology: key references, below and other references in the [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africaGroundwaterAtlas/atlas.cfc?method=listResults&title_search=&author_search=&category_search=&country_search=SO&placeboolean=AND&singlecountry=1 Africa Groundwater Literature Archive]). Numerous NGOs have also worked in the region and supported urban centres and local rural and semi-urban communities by drilling water wells or conducting geophysical surveys. However, although many water projects have been implemented or supported in the region, water well drilling has commonly been conducted without adequate project feasibility studies, and to date, no systematic data collection has been carried on groundwater exploitation, capacity, and especially on groundwater level fluctuations. However, during the last few years,the [http://www.faoswalim.org/ FAO/SWALIM] project (Somalia Water and Land Information Management) has done extensive work relating to water resources, including preparing more accurate and adequate hydrogeological maps of the northern part of Somalia, which are essential for planning any groundwater exploration and exploitation (FAO/SWALIM 2012).  
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A number of studies have laid down a good base for further hydrogeological works (see Hydrogeology: key references, below and other references in the [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/searchResults.cfm?title_search=&author_search=&category_search=&country_search=SO&placeboolean=AND&singlecountry=1 Africa Groundwater Literature Archive]). Numerous NGOs have also worked in the region and supported urban centres and local rural and semi-urban communities by drilling water wells or conducting geophysical surveys. However, although many water projects have been implemented or supported in the region, water well drilling has commonly been conducted without adequate project feasibility studies, and to date, no systematic data collection has been carried on groundwater exploitation, capacity, and especially on groundwater level fluctuations. However, during the last few years,the [http://www.faoswalim.org/ FAO/SWALIM] project (Somalia Water and Land Information Management) has done extensive work relating to water resources, including preparing more accurate and adequate hydrogeological maps of the northern part of Somalia, which are essential for planning any groundwater exploration and exploitation (FAO/SWALIM 2012).  
  
  
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The following references provide more information on the geology and hydrogeology of Somalia.
 
The following references provide more information on the geology and hydrogeology of Somalia.
These, and others, can be accessed through the [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africaGroundwaterAtlas/atlas.cfc?method=listResults&title_search=&author_search=&category_search=&country_search=SO&placeboolean=AND&singlecountry=1 Africa Groundwater Literature Archive]
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These, and others, can be accessed through the [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/searchResults.cfm?title_search=&author_search=&category_search=&country_search=SO&placeboolean=AND&singlecountry=1 Africa Groundwater Literature Archive]
  
 
===Geology: key references===
 
===Geology: key references===
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UNICEF. 1983-1986. Rural water supply and sanitation  programme in the  Northern  Regions",  Internal  Reports,  Hargeysa
 
UNICEF. 1983-1986. Rural water supply and sanitation  programme in the  Northern  Regions",  Internal  Reports,  Hargeysa
  
United Nations. 1989. [https://www.bgs.ac.uk/africaGroundwaterAtlas/atlas.cfc?method=ViewDetails&id=AGLA060020 Groundwater in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa: Somalia]. United Nations Department of Technical Cooperation for Development. Natural Resources/Water Series No. 19, ST/TCD/6.
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United Nations. 1989. [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/fulldetails.cfm?id=AGLA060020 Groundwater in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa: Somalia]. United Nations Department of Technical Cooperation for Development. Natural Resources/Water Series No. 19, ST/TCD/6.
  
 
Van der Plac MC. 2001. Burao water supply project XB=SOM-00-X01, Hydrogeological Site Investigations, Togdheer Region (Somaliland), UNCHS (Habitat)  
 
Van der Plac MC. 2001. Burao water supply project XB=SOM-00-X01, Hydrogeological Site Investigations, Togdheer Region (Somaliland), UNCHS (Habitat)  
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Return to the index pages:
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==Return to the index pages==
 
[[Overview of Africa Groundwater Atlas | Africa Groundwater Atlas]] >> [[Hydrogeology by country | Hydrogeology by country]] >> Hydrogeology of Somalia
 
[[Overview of Africa Groundwater Atlas | Africa Groundwater Atlas]] >> [[Hydrogeology by country | Hydrogeology by country]] >> Hydrogeology of Somalia
  
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