Projects per year
World financial support for Yemen has concentrated on improved irrigation technology as the primary means to reduce the rate of overexploitation of Yemen’s aquifers. An analysis of the impact of such investments on cumulative water abstraction, water savings and the life of an aquifer is presented. It shows that these investments have limited potential to extend aquifer life. The returns are highest in areas with significant remaining resources, and are not attractive in the most severely stressed areas. The analysis also shows that improved irrigation technologies increase the profitability of pumping for the farmer, exacerbating problems of over-abstraction. Finally, it shows that water savings depend on the hydrogeological situation. The policy implications of these findings are discussed in relation to Yemen, an exceptionally water-short country where most of the aquifers in groundwater-irrigated areas are severely over-drafted.