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How can we explain the over-exploitation and degradation of natural resources in the countries of the South? Population growth, poverty and problems associated with common property resource management have been common themes in this debate, yet insufficient attention has been paid to how traditional political relations and local perceptions affect natural resource capture and resource allocation. This is especially evident with respect to groups and communities at the political and geographical peripheries of state influence and control for whom self-identity is constructed around notions of autonomy and food self-sufficiency. This informative book addresses this omission by discussing water resource allocation and management. It focuses in particular on the socio-economic and political contexts which influence approaches to and determine practices of water management. Taking the example of the tribal communities of the Sa'dah basin in the northern Yemen, it analyzes the politics of environmental change, with particular reference to groundwater resource degradation, within the conceptual framework of "political ecology".