Water Quality Issues in Palestine
Throughout history, Palestine and Israel have been in conflict over the land that they both share in the Levant region. This region is important to several major world religions, and has been fought over for thousands of years. One of the central issues in the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel is water. In this article, we’ll look at the water conflict between Israel and Palestine, and how it has led to water quality issues in Palestine.
The Palestine Water Situation
The water supplies Israel and Palestine depend on are mainly within the Palestinian territories. In fact, Israel gets 40% of its own water from Palestine. However, Israel has the most control of these water supplies, making it difficult for Palestinians to get reliable access to water. Currently, the average per capita water consumption by the Palestinian population is only 55% of the standard daily consumption recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
But even when the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank do have access, there is another issue: water quality. Both the limited supply of water and the low quality of water when it is available have led to a water crisis in Palestine.
Palestine gets its water from 4 main sources: Palestinian wells, springs, desalinated drinking water, and purchasing it from the Israeli water company. A large portion of the water Palestinians use come from those wells—many of which are also controlled by Israel and have limited pumping capacities in place—but it is not always clean. This is due to a combination of factors like pollution, poor infrastructure, limited access, and more.
The Gaza water supply is particularly troubling, as the territory is completely surrounded by Israel, which controls all access in or out. This has led Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to pump water from the coastal aquifer, but over 97% of the water that is pumped does not meet the water quality standards of the World Health Organization. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) reports that the water situation in Gaza has been at crisis levels since 2005, as 96% of households receive water that does not meet drinking water quality standards.
Another issue with water in Gaza also stems from the conflict with Israel. When fighting occurs, Gaza’s infrastructure is often targeted, crippling critical systems. This has led to a decreased ability to properly treat wastewater, causing severe water pollution in the area.
Not having reliable access to clean water can lead to many health issues, like diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio. It also means that individuals are not able to properly sanitize and clean their homes, their cooking supplies, and themselves. This can result in the spreading of even more diseases, making it more likely for people to get sick.
The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) continues to provide humanitarian aid to children and their families through our hospitals, pediatric medical programs, health initiatives, hospital infrastructure projects, orphan and refugee sponsorships, and medical missions. These efforts help to ensure that children in need get the vital assistance they require.
PCRF is not a political or religious organization. Our mission is to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Middle East, regardless of their nationality, politics, or religion. We rely on charitable giving to provide medical treatment, surgeries, safety, shelter, and support to children and their families in Palestine and the Levant. Find out how you can get involved and help make a difference in children’s lives today!