I think the biggest topic of the following century might just be water. From the effect global weirding is having on water to our unsustainable pumping of groundwater to water pollution from agriculture, factories, and transportation, water is a growing concern.

Recent news that Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, might be out of water by 2025 is not a completely unique case, I think, but an indicator of things to come.

And if you haven’t considered how important water is to our basic needs (even beyond hydration), perhaps it’s time to start thinking about that.

Omar Naje of SciDev writes: “Water shortages in Yemen will squeeze agriculture to such an extent that750,000 jobs could disappear and incomes could drop by a quarter within a decade, according to a report.”

I said above that Yemen is not a completely unique case, but is expected to be hit sooner than most places for a handful of reasons.

Poor water management and the enormous consumption of water for the farming of the popular stimulant khat are blamed for the predicted water shortages…. Yemen has no rivers, so the main sources of water are groundwater and rain. The study warns that almost 90 per cent of the country’s available freshwater is used for agriculture.

As a result of these issues, “Sana’a will be the first city in the world to run out of water by 2025,” Mohamed Soltan, a hydrology expert managing the city’s groundwater basins.

Yemen’s Ministry of Water and Environment is reportedly working on a plan to address Sana’a’s upcoming water crisis, but no details have been presented publicly yet.

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Photo Credit: Sana’a, Yemen by eesti via flickr (CC license)