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El Agua


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El agua en Palestina

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El Agua

  1. 1. Water in Palestine PALESTINE MONITOR FACTSHEET Visit our website for the most recent factsheets: w w w. p a l e s t i n e m o n i t o r. o r g Updated: 20/08/2007 “All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natu- ral wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based on the principle of mutual benefit and international law. . .” Article 1(2) of the 1966 United Nations Human Rights Covenants Water: The Facts • In 1967, immediately after its full scale oc- • Palestine has natural surface and ground cupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, water resources. Surface water flows in Israel declared that all water resources in the form of permanent rivers, and wadis the West Bank and Gaza Strip were prop- (riverbeds that remain dry for part of the erty of the Israeli state. Palestinians there- year), or else is held in seasonal reservoirs. fore had to obtain a license from the Israeli Ground water resources collect and store Military before developing any new water infrastructure on their own land. rainwater. The main source of fresh water across Palestine is ground water. • In 1982 control of all Palestinian water re- sources was handed over to the new Israeli • There are eight ground water basins in Water Authority, Mekorot. Eleven years Palestine and Israel. later, under the 1993 Oslo Peace Process • Four lie completely within Israel (Tiberias, accords, partial responsibility for West Bank and Gaza water resources was passed to Western Galilee, Carmel, and the Negev). the Palestinian Water Authority. However, The other four basins (the North Eastern, Mekorot still controls 53% of domestic Eastern, Western and Coastal Aquifers) lie Map: Negotiations Affairs Department - Negotiations Support Unit (NAD- NSU) from the Palestine Liberation Organisation. water supplies in the West Bank. partly or wholly in the West Bank and Gaza. –
  2. 2. Bank ground water resources, which are used for Unequal Access & Deprivation settlements built on occupied land in the West Settlements & Water Bank and in Israel itself. • Surface water comes primarily from the Jordan • Israeli settlers use up to 9 times the volume of River Basin which is, in theory, a resource shared • Palestinians in Gaza consume around 100 mil- water provided to Palestinians per capita. between Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Leba- lion m2 of water a year. • A number of settlements were constructed non. Palestinians have been prohibited by squarely over key water resources. For instance, • Overall, Palestinians control and consume Israel from using this source since 1967. the Ariel and Emmanuel settlements in the north- 11% of their natural water resources. Israelis • The Western Aquifer is the single most impor- consume 89% of Palestine’s water. ern West Bank sit directly over the Western Aqui- tant ground water resource in Palestine and Israel. fer Basin. • Per capita consumption of water in Palestine It lies between the two states, with 68% of its • There are 42 deep wells in the West Bank, dug by and Israel reflects this imbalance. In the West recharge area within the West Bank. Israel after 1967 which are located primarily in the Bank and Gaza Strip per capita consumption is • Palestinian wells pump around 22 million cubic around 60 liters per day, while per capita con- Eastern Basin. While 80% of the water they pro- meters a year from the Western Aquifer. Israeli sumption in Israel is approximately 280 liters per vide is supplied to Israeli settlements, only 20% wells distributed in settlements and along the day. goes to Palestinian communities. 1967 Green Line pump 320 million cubic meters a • The drilling of these deep wells by Israel has a • More than 215,000 Palestinians (10% of West year from the same aquifer. direct efffect on other Palestinian water sources. Bank residents) are not connected to a running • In the West Bank, Palestinians now control, and water network. They rely on collecting rainwater For instance, in the northern Jordan Valley, 8 wells consume, approximately 20% (138 million m2) and access to natural springs. During mid sum- and 11 springs were completely dried up as a of the ground water resources. Israel controls mer water shortages they have to purchase water result of Israeli drilling in the area. approximately 80% (562 million m2) of the West from private suppliers. Whilst piped water costs 3-5 shekels per cubic meter, private suppliers The Wall & Water Palestinian children line up for water inside Khan Younis charge 15-30 shekels per cubic meter. • The route of the Wall confiscates key water re- refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, 2002. Photo: Bint JBeil sources. • The Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG) has documented cases of Mekorot deliberately limit- • 70% of the recharge area of the Western Aquifer ing domestic water supplies across the West will be isolated between the Wall and the Green Bank. Travel restrictions imposed across the West Line and fall under Israeli control. Bank and Gaza also severely affect Palestinians’ • In the northern part of the West Bank, the Wall access to fresh water. The Wall continues to deny acts as a concrete dam that essentially traps water and restrict Palestinian access to natural springs, and prevents it from flowing west, causing flood- wells and agricultural land. ings in the nearby areas. Qalqiliya suffered serious flooding during the winter 2005 for this reason. • Settlements located over water resources will be annexed to Israel once the Wall is completed. –
  3. 3. Gaza aquifer has led to the aquifer being gradu- Water & International Law Contamination & Environmental ally contaminated by sea water. Devastation • Sewage water is leaking and contaminating • The current division of water between Israel and • The PHG has documented cases of Israeli set- drinking water. For instance, in March 2007 the Palestine violates Palestinian rights, and contra- tlers deliberately contaminating Palestinian water Beit Lahia sewage treatment plant in northern sources in Qalqiliya and Nablus Governorates. Gaza overflowed, killing five people. The PHG venes international water law: Palestinians should describes the treatment plant as “inadequate” and have an equitable and reasonable allocation of • In May 2005 Israeli settlers living in the Tel Ru- says the continued closure of the Rafah crossing shared freshwater resources, including those in meida quarter of Hebron destroyed local water in southern Gaza has prevented delivery of critical meters and cut off water supplies to hundreds of equipment for the sewage plant. the four main aquifers and the Jordan River. local Palestinians. • The main international law principle for division • The northern West Bank town of Jenin is fac- of shared water between states is the Principle of ing a sewage crisis. 40,000 m2 of solid waste has Equitable and Reasonable Use. accumulated in its wastewater treatment plant because the Israeli military has prohibited the • Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law Jenin municipality from accessing the solid waste of the Non-Navigational Uses of International processing plant in nearby Qabatiya since 2000. Watercourses lists seven key components of this • The PHG explains that Gaza is facing a chronic principle, including social and economic need water crisis. Over-extraction of water from the for water resources, conservation, protection and A water resevoir in the West Bank village of Tulkarem. Photo: Palestine Monitor development of resources, and the availability of alternatives to planned or existing use of water. • Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations pro- hibits an occupying state from changing legisla- tion that was in effect prior to occupation. Mili- tary orders used by Israel with regard to access to, and supply of, Palestinian water resources has significantly changed the legal and institutional structure of the Palestinian water sector. Water resources in the Occupied Territories have been integrated into Israel’s legal system, severely limiting Palestinian development of its water resources. –