Water authority warns of groundwater depletion in Gaza

Water authority warns of groundwater depletion in Gaza

The Palestinian water authority has warned Saturday of the depletion of underground water supplies in the Gaza Strip within the next 10 years, calling for taking serious action to save these supplies.

In a report, the water authority said that Gaza suffers from an annual water deficit up to 70,000,000 cubic meters as a result of the natural increase in Gaza population who live on the coastal aquifer to meet their needs of water.

It pointed out that the overlap between the Mediterranean Sea and the aquifer caused a high rate of salts in water in addition to high concentration of nitrates due to the leakage of sewage and irrigation water into it.

The water authority affirmed that 90 to 95 percent of groundwater used for domestic purposes is not fit for human consumption and do not conform with the standards set by the WHO for the quality and quantity of drinking water, the thing which poses a serious threat to human health in Gaza.

The authority added that the average per capita water consumption in Gaza is about 80 liters a day which is equivalent to half of the per capita water consumption recommended by the WHO.

Regarding the West Bank, the water authority explained that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) do not allow the Palestinians to have access to more than 20 percent of groundwater in the three basins that exist in the West Bank.

It said that the bulk of the Palestinian share in the West Bank are obtained from the eastern basin, which contains a high proportion of salt, pointing out that the average per capita consumption of this water does not exceed 60 liters per day and declines in some areas to 20 to 30 liters per day.