The potential of strategic environmental assessment for integrated and sustainable water resources management in the Republic of Yemen : Scenario-based strategic assessment of the water resources policies adopted in ‘Yemen’s Strategic Vision 2025’

  • Yemen is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. The water deficit has been aggravated by the rapidly increasing demands for both surface and groundwater resources that are being unsustainably exploited. To address the country’s severe water scarcity, the government has adopted long-term intervention policies as stated in ‘Yemen's Strategic Vision 2025’. These policies are aimed at restoring the balance between water demand and availability, and at reducing the existing water deficit. Although 11 years have passed since this vision was adopted, the water deficit is still on the rise. The present situation raises questions about the efficiency of the intervention policies adopted by ‘Yemen's Strategic Vision 2025’ and about the effectiveness of implementing these policies. Another fundamental question pertains to the availability of a strategic assessment tool in the water resources sector that can be used to assess strategically future and current policies, strategies and plans, in order to ensure their efficiency inYemen is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. The water deficit has been aggravated by the rapidly increasing demands for both surface and groundwater resources that are being unsustainably exploited. To address the country’s severe water scarcity, the government has adopted long-term intervention policies as stated in ‘Yemen's Strategic Vision 2025’. These policies are aimed at restoring the balance between water demand and availability, and at reducing the existing water deficit. Although 11 years have passed since this vision was adopted, the water deficit is still on the rise. The present situation raises questions about the efficiency of the intervention policies adopted by ‘Yemen's Strategic Vision 2025’ and about the effectiveness of implementing these policies. Another fundamental question pertains to the availability of a strategic assessment tool in the water resources sector that can be used to assess strategically future and current policies, strategies and plans, in order to ensure their efficiency in supporting water resources and in producing the positive impacts for which these strategic initiatives were developed in the first place. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is an assessment tool designed to function at a strategic level and help to bring aspects of environmental sustainability into the decisionmaking process. This research aims to demonstrate the potential of SEA in enhancing environmental sustainability in water policies for achieving sustainability of water resources in Yemen. In order to show the potential of SEA in the Yemeni water resources sector, this research has applied SEA methodologies and adopted a scenario-building approach for assessing the intervention policies adopted by ‘Yemen's Strategic Vision 2025’ to support augmentation of water resources. Qualitative and quantitative approaches have been used in this research. Quantitative historical data on water availability, water demand and water savings by interventions have been collected from the databases of national institutions and international organizations concerned. Statistical analyses have been used to project future trends until 2025. Qualitative analyses of relevant studies and reports covering the environmental, administrative, sociocultural and political-economic aspects of water resources management in Yemen have been implemented as well. In addition, 13 semi-structured key informant interviews have been conducted with decision-makers, managers and leading experts in the water and irrigation sectors. The research produced three future scenarios for the total water balance that may play out until 2025 in Yemen. These scenarios provide impact assessment and alternatives’ comparison of the existing intervention policies. The resulting scenarios are as follows: the ‘Business as Usual’ scenario, which forms an assessment of currently applied interventions and provides an image for the future, if current interventions are maintained at the same pace; the ‘Do-nothing’ scenario representing the situation if no interventions are implemented; and the ‘Sustainability’ scenario, which represents the potential future of the total water balance if existing interventions are to be scaled up and out. The findings confirm the significant potential of currently adopted intervention policies to support water resources. They also reveal that the current level of implementing the intervention policies has hindered the potential of these intervention policies in achieving the expected positive impact on the water balance by 2025. In order to achieve a significant decrease in the water deficit, the strategic quantitative targets that need to be implemented were identified. The methodology followed in implementing the research and achieving the findings demonstrates the potential of SEA in enhancing environmental sustainability in water policies for achieving integrated and sustainable water resources management in Yemen. The recommendations of the research covered improving the existing water balance as well as improving the assessment and planning context in the water resources sector. In order to improve the water balance situation, the research recommends implementing quantitative targets for water savings and augmentations, such as those developed by this research. These targets have been identified based on the capacities of sectors implementing these interventions. The research also recommends further decentralization of planning and management of water resources and the establishment of Water User Associations (WUAs) as the main vehicles for ensuring sustainable planning and management of water resources, including the scale out of interventions, subject to assessment in this research. In order to improve assessment and planning of water resources, the research recommends the adoption of SEA, the updating of water resources data and conducting regular assessments of policies, plans and programmes as part of monitoring their impact and providing a chance for amending these policies and strategies, if required, to achieve sustainability of water resources.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Al-Ghorbany, Amer
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:co1-opus-29825
Publisher:BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
Place of publication:Cottbus
Document Type:Dissertation
Language:English
Erscheinungsjahr:2014
Tag:Environmental assessment; Sustainability; Water resources; Yemen
Pagenumber:XIV, 249
Institution / Subject:Fakultät 2 Umwelt und Naturwissenschaften / FG Environmental Planning and Governance
Institution name at the time of publication:Fakultät für Umweltwissenschaften und Verfahrenstechnik (eBTU) / LS Umweltplanung