Water crisis:Development of resources required [Archives:2005/827/Business & Economy]

March 24 2005

A study published in Yemen on March 22, said that the water crisis is getting worse, and that the country has one of the biggest water shortages in the world. One person's average share of water is now estimated at just 135 cubic meters per year.

According to the study, the level of water in the Sana'a basin has dropped to around 80 meters in less than twenty years. Many observers now fear that the Sana'a basin could be depleted within ten years.

Proportion of the basin feeding with waters in the past 20 years has amounted to 90 million cubic meters. In return, the uses and consumption of waters have amounted to about 219 million cubic meters, 176 million cubic meters used for agriculture, 37 million cubic meters for household uses and 6 million cubic meters for industry.

In addition to the depletion of ground water, the study also pointed out that Yemen is suffering from drought, and called for urgent water projects, such as barriers, dams, and campaigns to increase people's awareness of the problem.

The World Bank contributed $145 million last year to the projects to improve water treatment and infrastructure in poor communities.