Results for Tag: The West
In 1997, the World Bank described the water situation in Gaza as an “emergency state of affairs”. Yet nearly 20 years on, the levels of pumping have only increased, pollution has worsened and large parts of the water infrastructure in the area have been damaged or destroyed. Why was Gaza’s “emergency state of affairs” left to deteriorate beyond the point of repair?
Treating wastewater will eliminate environmental degradation, improve public health and increase water availability, as the treated water will be reused for agriculture. The PWA has conducted several studies on building new treatment plants and rehabilitating existing ones throughout the West Bank with the support of international donors. In its strategy published in 2014, the PWA states that three new wastewater treatment plants are under reconstruction, and six feasibility studies have been conducted for constructing additional treatment plants.
Per capita water availability in Palestine will keep decreasing if no new water resources are developed. Since its creation in 1995, the PWA has dealt with water supplies by negotiating for a fair share of water resources with Israel. Unfortunately, the results of these efforts have not lead to any further increase in the Palestinian share from the Mountain Aquifer and the Jordan River in the West Bank or the Coastal Aquifer in Gaza. In fact, the situation has worsened over the years.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has significantly damaged the water/waste water infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank. This in turn has had a significant negative impact on the Palestinian people in both areas. The lack of access to a consistent, sufficient, safe and affordable water supply and the absence of an effective wastewater sanitation system not only adds to their daily suffering but also poses a health and safety risk.
In theory, Israel is responsible for addressing any challenges related to water resources in the West Bank, as it is the occupying power and controls the resources. However, Israel has failed to fulfil these obligations and the responsibility has fallen to international donors along with Palestinian authorities …
Water resource access and distribution in the West Bank is decentralized and fragmented. Prior to the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the PWA, water distribution and administration were under the control of the West Bank Water Department (WBWD). Its role was to mediate between the Palestinian population as end users and Mekorot as the water supplier in the West Bank. Currently, WBWD is one of many institutions that supply water in the West Bank.