The Benpsi area of Libya, in the northwestern part of the Province of Cyrenaica (Wilayat Barqah), is semiarid, and available ground-water supplies in the area are relatively small. Potable ground water from known sources is reserved for the present and future needs of the city, and no surface-water supplies are available in the area. This investigation to evaluate known, as well as potential, water supplies in the area was undertaken as part of a larger program of ground-water investigations in Libya under the auspices of the U. S. Operations Mission to Libya and the Government of Libya.
A ground-water reservoir underlies the Bengasi area, in which the water occurs in solution channels, cavities, and other openings in Miocene limestone. The reservoir is recharged directly by rainfall on the area and by infiltration from ephemeral streams (wadis) rising in Al Jabal al Akhar to the east. In the Baninah and Al Fuwayhit areas the ground-water reservoir yields water of fair quality and in sufficient quantity for the current (1959) needs. of the Bengasi city supply. The test-drilling program in the area south and southeast of Bengasi indicates that water in sufficient quantity for additional public supply probably can be obtained in some localities from wells. The water, however, is moderately to highly mineralized and would require treatment or demineralization before it could be used for additional public supply. Much of the water could be used directly for irrigation, but careful attention would have to be given to cultivation, drainage, and cropping practices. The hazard of saltwater encroachment also exists if large-scale withdrawals are undertaken in the coastal zones.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water resources of the Bengasi area, Cyrenaica, United Kingdom of Libya