Yemen has a long history and reputation as a water-stressed country. In the last several decades, the country’s population has been steadily increasing and agricultural and irrigation methods have undergone radical change, placing immense pressure on an already strained and very limited water resource. The onset of war has served to exacerbate an already extremely vulnerable situation. The state of already stretched and often inadequate urban and rural water supply facilities has deteriorated further due to the consequences of the war and conflict.

This report takes stock of the current status of water security in Yemen after four years of war, documenting the impact that conflict has had on water security. The stocktaking exercise compared the state of water security before the war to the current situation, and assessed how other factors, including climate change and the underlying problems and vulnerabilities of the water system that existed prior to the war, contributed to the deterioration of the country’s water systems.

The final section of the report identifies some opportunities for stimulating strategic efforts to rebuild after the war with water security issues on the agenda and to secure sustainable provision of water services for social and economic development. This builds on an understanding of where the greatest development needs are in water resource management, supply and use, and seeks alignment between humanitarian and peace- building efforts and longer-term water security. This report will be followed by a more in-depth development of some of these ideas in a scoping paper for DFID Yemen.