In a particularly nasty move, the company that supplies water to the Occupied West Bank, Mekorot, has cut supplies to the Palestinians. It is ironic that the state owned company would restrict the Palestinians living in the Occupied West Bank yet not cut the flow to the illegal Israeli settlers there.
The Palestinians in cities obtain their water from the Mountain Aquifer which runs under both countries. Some water surfaces as springs or dug wells, but the majority is used by Israel. It is an important source of drinking and irrigation water. Israeli citizens depend on the Mountain Aquifer for about 50% of their drinking water and about 40% of the irrigation water also comes from this aquifer. The River Jordan is another very important water source. The Palestinians are left with about 20% of the Mountain Aquifer flow.
For a relatively few years Israel had an abundance of water, augmented by desalination plants, but it is beginning to experience a shortfall in its needs. Palestinians complain that when water is rationed, they are always hit the hardest. Water usage varies greatly depending on which side of the fence you dwell on. Per capita consumption in Israel is about 350 litres per day, in the Occupied West Bank about 60 litres per day.
According to the UN, 7.5 litres per capita per day is the minimum requirement for most people under most conditions but in some areas of Palestine - where temperatures exceed 35 degrees celsius - the minimum requirement is much higher. Al Jazeera
To add to the water problems in the area, the Mountain Aquifer is vulnerable to surface contamination. Both Israeli and Palestinians contribute pollution in the form of solid waste and sewage. More water is being drawn out than is being replenished.
This is the month of Ramadan which is observed by those of the Muslim Faith. It continues until July 5th. During Ramadan followers are required to refrain from eating and drinking, as well as refrain from personal indulgences during daylight hours instead focussing on their faith and their duty to one another. When daylight fades, they may eat and drink. To deny people in their own land access to adequate water especially during Ramadan, seems very mean spirited.
Eco Peace Middle East
Blogger, gardener, farmer. Working toward food security and a 30 foot
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