Skip to comments.Water woes could undermine Yemen's drive against Al Qaeda
Posted on 01/25/2010 1:30:38 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Impoverished Yemen is reeling under the threat of Al Qaeda, northern Shiite rebels and southern secessionists, but a lack of water is putting its ancient capital at even greater risk, experts say.
Within a decade - or even less - Sanaa could become the first waterless capital in the world, they warn, adding the outlook is also bleak for the rest of this parched country where wells in some regions are already dry.
A conference in London on Wednesday will discuss Yemen's anti-terrorism drive, but it is unclear whether the water woes that experts say are likely to fuel more insecurity are on the agenda.
Water disputes and riots in this largely tribal nation could squeeze Yemen's struggling government, undermining its ability to remain focused on an increasingly alarming security situation.
The United States and major European powers, concerned about the possible fallout from a resurgent Al Qaeda, have been pressuring Sanaa to uproot the Islamic rebels. Yemen says it needs arms, training and funds to do that.
"The situation in Yemen is rapidly deteriorating in the face of several challenges, all of which have the potential to develop into a serious crisis within the next five years," the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a report last year.
It said roughly 80 per cent of conflicts in Yemen are over water, which is being used more rapidly than it can be replenished. Water extraction rates in Sanaa are estimated at four times that of replenishment, it added.
"Sanaa will be the first capital in modern history to run dry," the Carnegie report said.
Dierk Schlutter, a water specialist with the humanitarian German Development Service, said that could happen in less than a decade.
(Excerpt) Read more at alrai.com ...
Thanks for the article, I wasn’t familiar with this aspect.
You are welcome.
In the words of the great late Sam Kinison (sp?) “ It’s ^&&*** Sand!!!!”
Technology exists that could rescue them if they act now. Carbon nanotube filters have been invented that will only pass molecules the size of water or smaller, blocking all other contaminants. They use only about a quarter to a third of the energy required by reverse osmosis, and are scalable and low maintenance.
Practically speaking, all that would be required for such a system is a large, double container and water pumps. Once lowered into the sea, the outer container screens out “biologicals”, and other particulates, leaving just sea water to enter the outer container. The interior container is the nanotube filter, so the water inside this container is fresh, and can be pumped out.