Water shortage – Israel and the Palestinians

It is an open fact that the Middle East is chronically short of water. If there are reserves of this “liquid gold”, they are hidden in remote areas of Turkey.

Nowhere is the problem more acute than in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. (Remember that under the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel is obliged to supply detailed amounts of water upto the entrance to Palestinian towns and cities).

So what can be done? I spoke to one israeli team that can take water out of the atmosphere in commercial quantities for on-site agricultural use. Another approach is to conserve water use. Israel has much to do here, especially amongst few maintenance.

Another aspect demanding immediate attention is untreated sewage, seaping off into streams and rivers. The estimate for 2007 was that 178km of untreated muck had found its way into these open water flows, which form the basis for drinking water supplies in many Palestinian regions. Equally critical was the misuse of groundwaters for agriculture, as opposed to drinking. Again, it is the citizen who suffers as the Palestinian Authority is only capable of mismanegemnt.

With a degree of political irony, it appears that the two populations are tied together…by a series of underground aquifiers. No amount of rhetoric or violence can change that. If Hamas and Fatah do not start cooperating with the Israeli authorities – the ones with the technology, resources the will and  the finances – then both sets of populations are going to be suffering even further, and in their own kitchens.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Israel, Palestinian Society

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