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Water crisis in Palestine

Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0011-9164(01)00169-2
  • Water Resources
  • Supply
  • Demand
  • Management
  • Crisis
  • Consumption


Abstract Palestine is experiencing a severe water crisis caused mainly by the lack of control over the Palestinian water resources. At present the average per capita water consumption by the Palestinian population is approximately 55 l/c/d, or 55% of the WHO minimum standard of 100 l/c/d. The above statements show that the communal water supply for the Palestinian population is substantially inadequate by international standards. The available water resources in the Middle East are scarce, limited, fragile and threatened. They are already exploited, especially in Palestine. The water resources in the countries of the sub-region (the Jordan River Basin) are limited in absolute terms; the average per capita availability is extremely low as illustrated in the table below. A large proportion of the water resources in the Middle East in general, and in Palestine as particular, are transboundary and final arrangements on water resources allocation between Palestinians and Israelis are not yet in place for “fair and equitable apportionment”. Average per capita availability in the countries of the Jordan River Basin is about 455 m 3, which is low compared with other regions, as for example 3283 m 3 in Asia, 5184 m 3 in Western Europe or 18,742 in North America. The average per capita availability in Palestine, which is 105 m 3d, the lowest in the world. All five parties listed above are riparian to the Jordan River catchment which has an average annual total discharge of 1320 Mm 3, with Israel abstracting about 645 Mm 3, Jordan abstracting about 485 Mm 3, and Syria abstracting about 2000 Mm 3. Israel inhibited Palestine from the access to the Jordan River water since its occupation in 1967. The Middle East region's natural water is not only threatened, it is also threatening [1].

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