The basis of lifeWater sources need protection [Archives:2003/685/Business & Economy]

November 13 2003

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
Of the most prominent reasons for sustained development is the protection of the water wealth. This is because water is of vital importance and is the base on which life is built in any society, and on which agricultural development depend on.
In Yemen, the underground water or the water storage resulting from seasonal rain is considered the main source of water which must be utilized and used in agriculture in a wise manner. Also means of maintaining the surplus waters through building dams and reservoirs should be of high priority especially in regions where floods are known to happen.
Not only must that water be maintained, it also must be maintained in a clean and healthy way so that it does not turn into a source of diseases and epidemics and negatively affect the air and soil. It’s enough that pollution comes from industrial development and civil life, as well as wars, fires and car pollution. Actually it is a viscous circle because the pollution of air causes the pollution of land and water and hence it affects all kinds of human life, animals and plants.
Statistics indicate that agriculture in Yemen consumes 90% of the water storage. That is why it is essential to develop a mechanism for wisely utilizing the irrigation process. At the same time, making uttermost use of the rains and floods to feed into the same underground water reservoirs through building dams and water canals, is also needed.
Moreover it is a well known fact that a huge percentage of the water in the irrigation process is dedicated to Qat plantations, where artesian wells are built in an uncontrolled and chaotic manner that harms the underground balance of water. There is also the increase in population that adds another urgent demand on more water.
Awareness should be raised in how to utilize the consumption of the little water that Yemen possesses. Water is the life vein of any civilization, therefore it needs protection and good utilization and efficient irrigation techniques, suitable measures to organize the irrigation process and water consumption in the country.