Ramallah, MINA – Marking World Water Day which coincided on Sunday, March 22, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) and Palestinian Department of Meteorology (PMD) said in a joint press release, Israeli occupation authority controlled more than 85 percent of Palestinian water resources in the occupied territories.
“The average per capita of 87 liters of water consumption per day in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is still below internationally recommended levels, which is mainly due to Israel’s control over more than 85 percent of Palestinian water sources,” he wrote in a press release, as quoted from Wafa News Agency.
According to the press release, the main reason behind the low use of surface water is due to the fact that Israeli occupation prevented Palestinians from accessing and extracting water from the Jordan River, also preventing Palestinians using water from the valleys.
“Palestine, mainly relies on water taken from ground water sources, where the percentage reaches 77 percent of the available water,” he said.
With water scarcity and Israeli restrictions on access to resources, Palestinian cities are forced to buy water from Israeli water company, Mekorot. In 2018, they bought 22 percent of the water available in Palestine.
In addition, PCBS, PWA and PMD in their press release said that pumping water from coastal aquifers for domestic use in the Gaza Strip has caused depletion of groundwater reserves, with groundwater levels in coastal aquifers reaching 19 meters below sea level, and that too causing overlapping sea water and filtered wastewater into the basin.
“More than 97 percent of the water pumped from coastal aquifers in the Gaza Strip does not meet the World Health Organization’s water quality standards,” he stressed.
The data, they added, highlighted and predicted the possibility of facing a real disaster in the Gaza Strip, which made the Palestinian Water Authority intensify and increase its efforts to save the water situation and reduce the impact of this difficult situation in Gaza.
According to 2018 data, Palestine has begun to produce the amount of desalination water (the process of making sea freshwater) which is expected to increase in the coming years with the commencement of the operation of quantity desalination water stations in the Gaza Strip. However, this number will greatly increase with the implementation of the Central Desalination Station program.
At present, PWA and PMD are working with relevant local authorities, currently implementing a number of programs aimed at monitoring and evaluating the effects of climate change, producing the reports needed in this regard, as well as preparing the plans needed to adapt to these effects in the future. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)