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A perfect storm: the causes and consequences of severe water scarcity, institutional breakdown and conflict in Yemen


  • Matthew I. Weiss


Yemen faces a dire water availability crisis, with groundwater being extracted at four times the rate of natural recharge and the capital, Sana'a, at risk of running out of water altogether. Yemen's capacity to adapt to water scarcity has been undermined by misrule, weak institutions and patronage-driven politics that have eroded traditional tribal mechanisms of water governance and conflict management without leaving a viable alternative in their place. Using material gleaned from interviews with water specialists, this article investigates the forces impeding water reform and the mechanisms mediating the relationship between water scarcity, institutional dysfunction and violent conflict in Yemen.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew I. Weiss, 2015. "A perfect storm: the causes and consequences of severe water scarcity, institutional breakdown and conflict in Yemen," Water International, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 251-272, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rwinxx:v:40:y:2015:i:2:p:251-272
    DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2015.1004898

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