Water reservoir in Sana’a dropped 20 meters due to qat [Archives:2004/757/Local News]

July 22 2004

The water table in Sana'a City has dropped by 20 meters in less than 20 years. This is an alarming indication that Sana'a City could encounter a serious shortage of water in coming 20 years. The primary consumers of water in the area are qat plantations.
In an official report published recently, the rate of water consumption in Sana'a City and it surroundings is very alarming considering there are more than 5000 water wells and 200 drilling equipment.
The report points out that annual water consumption is 3.4 billion cubic meters, whilst the renewable quantity is only 2.5 billion cubic meters. This implies only 133 cubic meters allotted for an individual in Yemen, in comparison to 1250 cubic meters in other Middle East countries and 7500 cubic meters on average in the rest of the world.
The report warns of a serious deterioration of the water situation if current consumption levels are maintained based on the exploitation of underground water reservoir.
It is expected that the current quota for a Yemeni citizen will drop to 70 cubic meters in 2025 as the drop of underground reserved water in Sana'a alone reaches 6-8 meters per annum.