In an interview last month, Yemen Water and Environment Minister, Abdulsalam Razzaz explained that the country has already devised of a plan which should alleviate water scarcity issues as well as help towards providing electricity.

In collaboration with its regional partners, Yemen is set to build its first desalination plan. The project will cost an estimated $300 million and will help Yemen cope with its growing water demands at a time when its natural aqua-resources have been dangerously depleted by irresponsible Qat farming and wells digging.

According to Minister Razzaz, Yemen suffers from “the most water shortages in the Arab region.” He pointed to Yemen’s increasing population growth rates and limited rainfall for the exacerbation of the country water crisis, noting that at its current state Yemen would soon be unable to sustain its supplies.

“The precarious water situation in Yemen can be better appreciated when you consider it is the only country in the world that uses groundwater for agriculture, industry and for drinking,” explained the minister. This has dangerously depleted Yemen underground water reserves, which reserves cannot be replenished easily.

Several experts have actually warned that the country was already beyond the point of safe return when it came to its water resources.

With nowhere left to dig, Yemen has therefore to think outside the box. Sea water desalination said the minister is a perfect solution, not only for Yemen but for the region as well as Yemen’s partners in the project will to benefit from the plant.

Minister Razzaz confirmed that an agreement will soon be signed with the Saudi Fund for Development to organizing the financing of the project. The plant will provide water for the provinces of Taiz, Lahj, Aden and Ibb. Within the next decade the desalination plant will also be able to supply the capital, Sana’a.