The water crisis, Utilization of rainfall, the ideal solution [Archives:2004/724/Business & Economy]

March 25 2004

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Agricultural engineers confirm that the rational utilization of rainfall waters would limit aggravation of the water crisis Yemen is suffering from as a result of the burdens put on shoulders of the population especially in the areas deprived of water mainly the villages of the governorates of Taiz, Ibb, Saada, Jawf, Mareb, Hudeida, Abyan, Dhalie and Lahj.
Those specialists have also said that rainfall waters are still squandered and the work for increasing reservoir in water dams and barriers would contribute to expand the area of agricultural products and the volume of local production of agricultural economy from is present situation of 18 per cent of the gross national product to 28 per cent and an additional proportion of at least 10 per cent.
The specialists add that storing rain water would eliminate the water problem in areas threatened by drought and those suffering from scarcity of subterranean waters in the areas depending on wells producing little daily waters.
A study by the World Bank had affirmed that the total of renewable water resources in Yemen are estimated at around 21 billion cubic metres and the individual share does not exceed 150 cubic metres per year. The study said 28 billion cubic meters of water are consumed each year with an increase proportion exceeding the reservoir by 7 billion cubic meters a year.
Surveying studies mention that among the causes behind aggravation of waters crisis in Yemen is the depletion of water reserve in the major cities and haphazard drawing water in the Yemeni countryside and the qat tree water consumption between 50 to 60 percent of irrigation waters, in addition to the obsolete equipment and tools used for drawing underground waters.
The phenomena of the crisis are reflected on stability of the population life to an extent of the spread of gangs stealing water at nights from seasonal reservoirs, as happens in the area of Shara'ab in the governorate of Taiz.
The areas suffering from water shortages are still witnessing tensions among families over water of subterranean well and there are armed conflicts taking place every now and then because of water and resulted in claiming life of many people in several governorates.
Specialists in the field of water at the beginning of each rainy season that there is a huge water wealth that can be stored and gaining increase in agricultural crops in fertile areas but that requires providing sources of financing projects of building new water dams and barriers for the ideal utilization of rainfall waters that is still not benefited from up till now. The ministry of water and other concerned authorities has to double their efforts for facing the water problem. For experiments have proved that construction of barriers for storing waters is not expensive but that needs organisation of efforts and concentration on areas where there are flows of torrents in order to retain them and thus overcome the crisis for good.