Water Supply And Sanitation In The Palestinian Territories
This article has last been comprehensively updated in 2009. Please feel free to update the article.
Compared to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, water supply and sanitation in the Palestinian territories are characterized by severe water shortage, which is exacerbated by the effects of Israeli occupation. According to the WaSH Monitoring Programme, Israelis use 87% of the water available from the mountain aquifer in the West Bank, and 82% of the water from the coastal aquifer under Gaza.
Generally, the availability and quality of services is considerably worse in the Gaza strip when compared to the West Bank. A 2011 survey shows that 70.9% of households in the West Bank consider the water quality to be good, while the share in the Gaza Strip is only 5.3%. The lasting blockade of the Gaza Strip and the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict have caused severe damage to the infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
About half of the delivered water in the Palestinian territories is unaccounted-for water (UFW) because of losses and billing deficiencies. With a share of 70%, agriculture is the sector which uses most of the scarce water resources. Concerning wastewater, the existing treatment plants do not have the capacity to treat all of the produced wastewater, causing severe water pollution. The National Water Policy of 1995, the Water Resources Management Strategy of 1998 and the Water Law of 2002 aim at developing and improving the management of water resources. Furthermore, a new water pricing policy is being prepared. The development of the sector highly depends on external financing.
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