Unfair Distribution of Water in Palestine Due to Israeli Control

RAMALLAH, March 22, 2015 (WAFA) – Palestine continues to suffer from the unfair distribution of water sources in light of the almost full Israeli control, said Palestinian central bureau of statistics (PCBS) and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) said Sunday.

In evidence of water inequality, the Israeli daily share per capita of water consumption reached seven times higher than the Palestinian’s, said the survey.

PCBC and PWA, in a press release issued on the occasion of the world water day March 22, 2015 presenting the key indicators related to water in Palestine, said the amount of water extracted from the coastal aquifer was 100.8 MCM in the Gaza Strip in 2013, but this quantity is obtained via unsafe pumping that jeopardizes sustainability of the source knowing that the basin sustainable yield should not exceed 50-60 MCM a year.

“More than 90% of the water pumped from the coastal aquifer in Gaza Strip does not satisfy the water quality standards of the World Health Organization.”

In terms of sanitation, the Israeli occupation obstructs any Palestinian construction of wastewater treatment plant, denying them thus the right to benefiting from the treated water.

Results from the survey showed that, in 2011, about 6.2% of households had no access to improved drinking water, but this percent dropped to 2.5% in 2013. It said that the percentage of households with access to improved sanitation was 63.6% in 2013 compared with 51.4% in 2008.

“It should be noted that the Palestinians have been denied access to extraction from the Jordan River since 1967, which deprives them of their rights to this water whose quantity was estimated at 250 MCM,” said the report.

According to United Nations data, 90% of the extracted water is used for irrigation; however agriculture consumes 70% of the available water around the world.

“The quantity of water available for agriculture in Palestine is insufficient to serve the planted areas (1,034,901 dunum) in 2010/2011, of which 167,671 dunuma of is irrigated areas,” it said.

Regarding water quality, 48.8 % of Palestinian households considered water quality to be good in 2013.