Since the 1970s Yemen has undergone rapid social and economic change. But the creation of the modern state has come at a cost, and the country has fallen into a severe water crisis. Groundwater is being extracted at such a rate that parts of the rural economy could disappear within a generation. In no other country in the Middle East are the aquifers being exhausted so quickly. Christopher Ward provides the first comprehensive study of the water management crisis in Yemen and presents a complete analysis, covering the institutional, environmental, technical and political economy components. He assesses the social and economic impacts of the crisis and provides in-depth case studies in the key management areas: water resources management; agricultural water management and irrigation; urban water supply and sanitation; and rural water supply and sanitation. He examines the range of policy and programme responses to date and explores their largely unsuccessful outcomes. In the final part of the book the author evaluates the current strategy and looks at future ways in which the people of the country and their government can influence outcomes and make the transition to a sustainable water economy. Combining a historical perspective and an interdisciplinary approach, The Water Crisis in Yemen draws on both new field research and a very wide set of official and unofficial information sources, much of it being made available for the first time. The result offers a comprehensive, practical and effective approach to achieving sustainable and equitable water management in a country whose water problems are amongst the most serious in the world.