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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)


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

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

1. Technical Opportunities : WR management and Agriculture


The opportunities for interventions

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

  • 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