The Yemeni government has recently announced that the water scarcity crisis over the past few years has forced the government to undertake measures to lessen local qat farming, since this plant consumes a lot of water. According to a report in Al-Hayat newspaper, the farming of qat in the country absorbs up to 30 percent of the overall available underground resources.
A study recently prepared by the local planning and development industry estimated the water gap in Yemen reached 700 million cubic meters in 1995. This gap is expected to climb to 921 million cubic meters annually by 2010. Yemen’s overall available underground water resources are estimated at 20 billion cubic meters.