- Conferences and Seminars
Water Supply Report 2010
1.1 Contextual Background and Current Situation:
The water sector in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is currently going through a crucial period; the existing situation is set in the context of unbalanced opportunities.
Since 1967, Palestinians have lost their share from and access to the Jordan River which is the most important surface water resource in the region, in addition to most of the groundwater that is considered as the main source of water supplied annually with insufficient quantities that is less than half of the basic needs.
The full control of the Israelis over water resources and infrastructure development has resulted in obvious poor capacity building for practitioners working in this field, as well as poor economic growth accompanied with increased poverty. Health and sanitation conditions are getting worse, in addition to a massive deterioration of the environment.
This lack of access to adequate, safe, and sufficient drinking water is a critical problem for the Palestinian population, who are forced to decrease their standard of living to the bare minimum, depriving them from the basic human rights to water, food security and health.
A living proof for this dilemma is the Palestinians’ actual water consumption rate (82 l/c/d) that lies below the minimum World Health Organization’s (WHO)’s standards (100 l/c/d), compared to about four times as much in Israel (300 l/c/d).
It is worth mentioning that in rural communities which are not connected to a water distribution network, Palestinians survive on far less that 70 l/c/d, and in some cases barely 15 liters per day.
Click here to download the Full Report:
Water Supply Report 2010 (100 page, 2.10 MB )
1.2 Palestinian Water Authority’s Role in Water Supply
“Israel is confiscating our land and our water and obstructing our movement as well as the movement of goods. It is the one obstructing our whole destiny, all of this is unilateral. Within the context of the National Water Policy (NWP) and the draft Water Management Strategy (WMS); the overall objective and guiding vision of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) is the equitable and sustainable management and development of Palestine’s water resources.
This corresponds with PWA’s mission of securing a transparent, sustainable and accountable environmentally sound development of water resources through efficient regulations and equitable water management. The goals set to achieve that mainly define the optimum way to regulate, manage, protect and conserve the limited water resources as well as optimize the benefit from water resources development by raising water consumption levels to provide a healthy environment and economic development.
Addressing the increasing scarcity of water resources in Palestine and the political complexity attached to it with proper key solutions is simply the translation of the PWA’s goals in this area. One of the policy’s main principles is that water supply must be based on a sustainable development of all available water resources, of which the development of these resources must be coordinated at the national level, and carried out appropriately at the local level, keeping in mind that water management at all levels should provide water quantity in conjunction with adequate water quality, where water supply and wastewater management should be integrated at all administrative levels.
Therefore, PWA is keeping the national water policy as its main guide to all decisions and actions to manage water demand consistently to assure the optimal development of water supply to conserve and optimally utilize water resources enhancement.
Depending on the Palestinian Water Law No. 3 issued in 2002, PWA is the regulatory authority for the water sector; this includes setting approved standards, unified tariff systems and controlling the water resources.
Based on that, PWA has recently begun working on reinstating and developing a performance monitoring system for water service providers to enhance its role as a competent regulator, create an effective interface with other service providers and determine the minimum acceptable level of service offered by each utility using certain indicators that include: average daily water consumption per capita, price per cubic meter delivered to the consumer, operating costs, cost recovery, water losses, unaccounted for water, staff productivity/1000 customers, and other quality indicators. Within the context of this monitoring system, PWA is constantly following up the existence of unauthorized (unlicensed) wells. This is a major difficulty standing against water supply adequacy.
Despite the ongoing tracking of all of these wells in the West Bank, a number of them are still present; however, most of these wells are drilled into shallow aquifers (either Eocene in Jenin, or Pleistocene in the Jordan Valley) and only draw on Palestinian resources without any impact on Israeli wells.
These wells are concentrated mostly in Jenin and Tubas. PWA gave notice to the owners of these wells to abide by the law and end this illegal activity. There are penalties against all those who do not abide by the PWA’s instructions, including drilling rigs, illegal connections, and water theft, especially in the Hebron District, which reaches an average of more than 4 million cubic meters per year.
1.3 Report Aim, Structure and Content
The aim of the report is to provide a general overview and afford a comprehensible representation describing the structured analysis of water supplied and consumed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the complications attached. In other words, this report examines the following:
• The current situation- water resources, water supply structure and mechanism, and water consumption.
• The principal problems facing the Palestinian water sector.
• The underlying constraints, continuous violations in water supply agreements and ongoing difficulties facing the water service providers.
This report uses a descriptive statistical method to analyze and compare the 2010 water resources and supply information with the former years. The used structure defines the power flow throughout water management process represented in tables and charts to show how the lines of control reach the various functional areas in water supply and consumption.
1.4 Executive Summary
Total supplied amounts of water in 2010 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) were obtained from two main resources: local and purchased. The mechanism of supplying water for various purposes in the West Bank differs from that in the Gaza Strip. Local Resources in Gaza are obtained from 4779 groundwater wells, whereas the West Bank’s local resources are obtained from 250 groundwater wells in addition to local springs.
Purchased resources from the Israeli water company “Mekorot” in Gaza did not exceed 5% of the total supplied amounts. Nevertheless, the share of the purchased resources in the West Bank exceeded 35% of the total supplied amounts. Analysis of water supply for domestic purposes (including industrial and commercial purposes) accounts for 55% of the total supplied amounts in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, applied in both of the West Bank and Gaza with 85 MCM and 96 MCM respectively.
However, the Gaza Strip suffers from a disastrous situation due to poor water quality with the Coastal Aquifer as the sole water source shared with Israel.
The aquifer is being over pumped with annual quantities that double that of the safe pumping rate (50-60 MCM/ year); this has lead to seawater and surrounding saline aquifers intruding into this fresh water source causing salination. Based on this, this quantity (96 MCM for domestic use) is considered misleading if used in calculating the per capita consumption.
A total of 85 MCM of water supplied for domestic purposes in the West Bank provided a supply rate of 102 L/c/d. Only 60 MCM -of the 85 MCM supplied- was actually consumed in the West Bank leaving an average consumption rate of 73 L/c/d. On the other hand, water supply for agricultural purposes accounts for 45% of the total supplied amounts in the oPt applied in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip with 69 MCM and 81 MCM respectively.
Table I.1 below shows annual quantities of selected indicators over the last 7 years.
Click here to download the Full Report:
Water Supply Report 2010 (100 page, 2.10 MB )
Source: Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), March 2012