A study warns of depletion of subterranean water reserve in two decadesYemen heads for joining most thirsty countries [Archives:2003/643/Business & Economy]

June 19 2003

A recent study issued in Yemen has warned that Yemen is actually facing the danger of joining the countries that are suffering most from severe scarcity of water in the world. Experts at the water resources administration have said the subterranean water reservoir in Yemen is about to exhaust in the coming twenty years owing to the rise in annual pumping of water by 100% vis-a-vis the annual feed proportion.
The study mentioned that the average of annual feed of underground water ranges between 80-120 million cubic meters whereas the annual consumed quantity of water mounts to 250 million cubic meters, 80% of which is used in agriculture and 20% used for drinking and industry.
The study has further mentioned that the rate of rainfall ranges between 700 to 800 million cubic meters, 90% of which is exposed to evaporation. The amount of consumed water that is surplus of the feed rate is estimated at a range of 130 to 170 million cubic meters. The unrenewed quantities of consumed water are estimated at about one billion cubic meters to be found in three underground reservoirs, namely, valleys subterranean water depository , volcanic rocks reservoir, and long rocks reservoir.
To encounter and deal with this water problem the state organization for water resources has adopted the implementation of a project on managing the Sana'a basin beginning from this year extending over seven years period, as a preliminary experiment to be applied to other water basins after studying the chances of its success. The projects aims at increasing he quantities of subterranean waters, raising efficiency of using it in agriculture, industry and household use and strengthening the institutional and legal structure of managing waters, particularly with respect to the basin.
Managing water demand would be performed through entering a modern irrigation system enabling the achievement of less pumping out , less labor, besides providing the biggest amount of waters and high productive quality agricultural yield. There would be a support for farmers through providing them with modern agricultural equipment. Feeding underground water reservoirs depending on rainfalls would be achieved by building five new dams and maintaining another 11 old ones in Sana'a basin. In addition there would be an awareness s campaign through mass media aimed to educate people on how to preserve waters against irrational use.