Assessing the Effectiveness of Water Governance in Combating Groundwater Degradation in Al-Mujaylis, Tihama Coastal Plain, Yemen

W.S.M. Al-Qubatee, Abdullah Ibrahim, Carmen From Dalseng, Adel Al-Weshall, F. van Steenbergen, H.P. Ritzema

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The coastal areas in Yemen are threatened by much environmental degradation
such as sand dunes movements, desertification, groundwater drawdown and
seawater intrusion. Collaborative research based on participatory rural appraisal
(PRA) was conducted in Al-Mujaylis village, located in the downstream part of
Wadi Zabid and Wadi Rima (wadi is Arabic term referring to valley) on the Tihama coastal plain along the Red Sea, to get a better understanding of the problems related to the groundwater resources and to determine the role of water governance in combating groundwater degradation. It was found that the area suffers from many problems such as sinking groundwater levels caused by changing rainfall patterns and a decrease in the amount of groundwater recharge. Findings show that, due to changing agricultural practices in the upper area of Wadi Zabid and Wadi Rima, traditional spate water distribution rights no longer achieve justice farmers along the wadis. However, it was found that many respondents are still satisfied with those rules and traditions around spate water distribution. They suggested to eliminate or to mitigate the changes that happened to those rules. The following changes were identified: 1) an increase in farming of high water requirement crops; 2) the construction of concrete diversion structures and harvesting dams in the upstream, midstream of the wadis; 3) repeated violations of the existing rule by some farmers coupled with a weak implementation of the law and court decisions; 4) the weakness of related institutions in regulating, controlling, supervising, and enforcing water distribution rules. These findings suggest that although there is no direct branch of Wadi Zabid and Wadi Rima that reaches the Al-Mujaylis village and other coastal areas, environmental degradation is connected historically (negatively or positively) to the political decisions related to water and agriculture taken after 1970.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Water Studies in the Arab Region
Subtitle of host publicationState of the Art and Perspectives
EditorsManar Fayyad, Serena Sandri, Matthias Weiter, Dimitrios Zikos
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherHumboldt University
VolumeBand 4
EditionEntwicklungspolitische Temenreihe des SLE
ISBN (Electronic)9783936602746
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameEntwicklungspolitische Themenreihe des SLE
VolumeBd. 4


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