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“Arab Climate Resilience Initiative”. First Regional Consultation Meeting. “The Impacts Of Climate Change On ِ Water Resources ” Damascus, The Arab Republic of Syria 15-16 September 2010. Dr. Naif Abu-Lohom Prof. Dr. Abdulla Babaqi Water & Environment Centre (WEC), Sana’a University

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“Arab Climate Resilience Initiative”

First Regional Consultation Meeting

“The Impacts Of Climate Change On ِ WaterResources ”

Damascus, The Arab Republic of Syria

15-16 September 2010.

Dr. Naif Abu-Lohom

Prof. Dr. Abdulla Babaqi

Water & Environment Centre (WEC), Sana’a University

Republic of Yemen


  • Background Information

  • Yemen’s Climate Change Profile

  • Challenges in Water Sector

  • Scenarios of Climate Change Impact on water sector

  • Main National Policies, Projects, Activities Undertaken to Address CC

  • Recommendation to Mitigate and adopt with CC Impacts

  • Opportunities for Interventions at Different Levels:

  • (Technical, Policy, Institutional, Support of Local Communities, etc)

Background Information

  • Yemen signed UNFCCC in 1992 and ratified it in May 1996.

  • Ratified Kyoto Protocol in September 2004.

  • Established CDM Committee in 2007.

Yemen Climate Change Profile

  • UNESCO (1979), classified Yemen into 4 Climatic Zones:

Hyper- Arid Zone

Rainfall < 50 mm/Y

Arid Zone (Rainfall = 100 – 250 mm/Y

Semi Arid Zone

Rainfall = 250 – 500 mm/Y

Sub-Humid Zone

Rainfall > 500 mm/Y

Yemen Climate Change Profile

Temperature Trend

  • Historical data (since 1970) indicate Warming become greater for summer(+0.2°C/decade) than winter (+0.15°C/decade).

  • According to IPCC report, Yemen is expected to warm by 3-4°C by 2080s which is roughly 1.5 times the global mean response

Rainfall Variability In Yemen

  • The average total annual precipitation recorded for about 100 years show variability but without an obvious and unpredictable trend

  • The extreme events are increasingly becoming a source of concern

  • (Hadramout & AlmahraFloods).

Rainfall Variability In Sana’a City

  • The Fig. depicts the spatial distribution of rainfall in Sana’a City measured at four stations

  • It shows significant differences in total rainfall over a period Jan. – July 2007

Hadhramout Flood,

25th October, 2008

  • The flooding comes after more than a full day of rain in Yemen, which normally receives only a few inches of rain per year.

  • A flash floods have claimed the lives of more than 140 persons and left more than 20,000 without shelter in the Hadramout and Maharah Governorates

Vulnerable Sectors

to Climate Change Impacts

  • INC & NAPA identified 5 main sectors vulnerable to climate change

  • Impacts:

    • Water Resources

    • Agriculture

    • Coastal Zone

    • Biodiversity

    • Health and Tourism

Challenges in water sector
Challenges In Water Sector

  • Increased water scarcity and reduced water quality

  • Per capita annual water resources of only 120 m3

  • 10% of regional average and 2% of global average

  • Over-exploitation of GW (3-8 meters/year annual drop in most of the basins)

  • Annual Abstraction in SB exceeds 4 times the recharge

  • Irrigated area has expanded from 37,000 to about 1,200,000 ha

  • Agriculture use more than 90 % of Water Resources

  • Decrease Water Supply in most of the main cities (Sana’a, Taiz,Amran.)

  • Increase water conflicts.

  • Low irrigation water use efficiency (20-40%)

  • Institutional and implementation capacity challenges for groundwater management

Water status in yemen

Total renewable water: 2.1 Bm3/y. Total water use: 3.0 Bm3/y

Deficit: 900 Mm3/y

Water status in Yemen

  • Excessive Pumping

  • Flood Irrigation

  • ََِQat trees

Impacts of Climate Change in Groundwater

  • Three simplified CC scenarios of the impacts of CC on groundwater for the period 2025 up to 2080s were developed (WEC & HR Wallingford, 2010) . This study financed by the World Bank in the framework of NAPA programe:

    • A “hot and dry” scenario

    • A “mid” scenario,

    • A “warm and wet” Scenario

  • These scenarios were developed based on the collected baseline data (1961-2000) i.e. :

  • Average annual Temperature

  • Average annual rainfall

  • 3. 15 Global Climate Model (GCM)

  • Scenarios

    Broad Characterization

    • Expectations:

    • - warming (1 to 1.6 °C)

    • An increase in rainfall

    • An increase in Runoff and recharge

    • Expectations:

    • Considerable warming (1.6 to 3.1 °C)

    • No significant change in rainfall

    • Expectations:

    • Decrease Rainfall,

    • Decline of runoff and recharge

    • Temp. may become too high (2 to 4.5 °C)

    Change in annual rainfall %

    Warming Degree C

    Prospects of GW Abstraction & Climate Change

    impacts for Yemen as a Whole

    By 2025 GW reserves will be exhausted & abstraction will equal recharge

    After 2025, the GLshows the extraction levels that would be consistent with current rates of recharge + the extra resource available from increased recharge under the ‘warm & wet’ scenario.

    The Red Line is common to all scenarios up to 2025

    The RL after

    2025 traces:

    Drop in recharge & abstractions

    below current recharge levels under Hot & Dry Scenario

    Average GW Recharge Baseline

    Main National Policies Undertaken to Address the CC

    • The Initial National Communication (INC) on CC was prepared on April, 2001

    • The National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA, Yemen) was prepared on 2008 and endorsed by Cabinet in March 2009.

    • The Second National Communication (SNC) on CC was prepared on 2007- 09.

    • Some Relevant Existing national and sectoral strategies and plans

    • Poverty Reduction Strategy, Vision 2025.

    • National Water Sector Strategy and Investment Programme (NWSSIP)

    • Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans

    • Health and Environment Strategy

    • Environmental Impact Assessment Policy

    • World Bank Country Assistance Strategy (CAS)

    • Establishment of Inter-ministerial CC Commission/Board, 2009:


    Previous Projects

    Related to CC

    • - National Level:

    • A Study on climate change scenarios projections (2008/09)

    • National Capacity Self Assessment for climate change, biodiversity and combating desertification

    • National Probabilistic Risks Assessment

    • Hadramout and Al Mahra Probabilistic Risks Assessment

    • - Local Level:

    • Municipality of Sana’a Natural Disaster Risk Evaluation and Urban Planning

    • Sana’a Integrated Storm water Management Plan

    • Adapting to Water Scarcity for Yemen’s Vulnerable Communities:

    • (Case studies of Sana'a Basin , Sada’a Basin and Aden City)

    On-going Projects

    Related to CC

    • Climate impacts on water resource management and agriculture (W. Bank)

    • Climate impacts on Agrobiodiversity (World Bank)

    • Rainfed Areas Livestock Project

    • Agro-biodiversity and Adaptation Project

    • Water Sector Support Program

    • Groundwater and Soil Conservation Project (World Bank)

    • Sana’a Basin Water Management Project

    • Integrated Coastal Zone Management

    • Irrigation Improvement Project

    Planned Projects Related to CC

    • Pilot Project for Climate Resilience (PPCR)

    Recommendations to Mitigate and Adopt with Climate Change Impacts

    • Improving governance through transparency and an active civil society role,

    • Capacity Building and awareness Programme at all levels

    • Empowering rural communities so that they can participate in assessments and feed in their knowledge to provide useful climate information;

    • Integrate climate resilience into the design of new infrastructure for irrigation and flood control

    • Developing an early warning systems which can help to anticipate and prevent disasters

    • Integrating climate change impacts into economic planning for the national budget.

    The opportunities for interventions Impacts

    1. Technical Opportunities : WR management and agriculture

    • Updating knowledge on critical basins to determine safe yields and storage capacities of aquifers and surface water resources.

    • Upgrading the network of hydro-meteorological monitoring stations; collating relevant agricultural, social and economic datasets to enhance understanding of the system

    • Developing and use appropriate tools such as Decision Support System DSS at different levels (Catchment, Basin, County)

    • Developing robust climate models that reduce the degree of uncertainty in national and regional climate prediction.

    •  Conducting Remote sensing and ground-truthing studies to identify the relationship between climate and change in water resources, food security and agriculture.

    The opportunities for interventions Impacts

    1. Technical Opportunities : WR management and Agriculture

    The opportunities for interventions Impacts

    2. Policies, Institutional and Capacity Building:

    • Establishing a CC strategy endorsed by Cabinet and in consistence with available strategies

    • Accelerating formation of National Committee for CC adaptationand representing all concern agencies

    • Mainstreaming of climate change issues into all local, sub – national, national, and sectorial planning processes

    • Building institutional and technical capacity in the MWE, including NWRA, the water utilities and GARWSP to better integrate climate change concerns into water strategies and policies.

    • Ensuring close cooperation among various agencies with interests in the water sector, including MAI, MWE, NWRA, EPA, the water utilities, GARWSP, and CAMA.

    • Revision and development of Water Resources plans according to CC impacts

    • Staff Capacity Building and provision of a suitable environment to perform their tasks

    The opportunities for interventions Impacts

    • 3. Support of Local Community-:

    • Investing in public awareness campaign of local communities about CC impacts & adaptation

    • Promote Capacity building of lo identify priorities and adaption with CC

    • Involve local communities (LC, WUA) in planning and implementation process of pilot projects

    • Improve livelihood of local communities through implementation of certain activities based on areas priorities

    • Exchange experiences between community

    • representatives in different topographical areas

    • Documentation of the local traditional, indigenous

    • knowledge and use it for CC adaptation

    THANK ImpactsYOU