In most parts of Somalia, water has always been scarce. Water scarcity has been aggravated by the destruction and looting of water supply installations during the civil war, the continuing conflicts, and general lack of maintenance. They are compounded with erratic rain patterns, which produce both droughts and floods. The main sources of water are: river water, surface run off, rainwater harvesting from roofs, hand dug wells and springs. In addition, bore wells are the principal source of municipal water supply in most towns and in rural and pastoral areas during the dry seasons, and tend to be managed inadequately leading to unsustainable water usage and water scarcity. In addition, Somalia has a limited number of reliable rural water sources. There are around 3,700 water points mapped by FAO in 2014 with more than 40% reported as not permanent or not functioning. Only about 500 are improved water sources protected from contamination. Another problem is the location of boreholes: 50% of Somali boreholes are either deeper than 130 m or located at 480 m altitude, and are thus very difficult to access.
This section provides insights into projected climate change impacts on various hydrological indicators.