The Water Authority in Gaza issued a distress call to find an urgent solution to the water crisis
- 2022-01-19 01:42:20
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oday, Tuesday, the Water and Environmental Quality Authority in the Gaza Strip sent an urgent distress call to the international community to find an urgent solution to the water crisis that has been escalating for years in the Strip.
Munther Salem, Director General of Planning and Awareness at the Water and Environmental Quality Authority, said during a press conference in Gaza that the scarcity of renewable natural resources and the narrow geographical space of the sector, in light of the steady growth of the population, led to an increase in demand for water, and an increase in the water deficit with the continuation of the suffocating siege and political and economic challenges. and social.
He added, "The result was the inability to develop and develop new and sufficient water sources to meet the various increasing water needs."
He continued, "The fact that there are not enough water sources has pushed the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to further pressure and depletion of the coastal aquifer, which resulted in a sharp and dangerous rise in water salinity due to the tyranny and interference of sea water several hundred meters into this reservoir in several areas of The sector, where this salinity has reached very dangerous levels, exceeding the local and international standards for the quality of drinking water by several times.”
He pointed out that the historical shortage and weakness in the infrastructure of wastewater collection and treatment systems in the Gaza Strip resulted in severe and dangerous pollution of the coastal aquifer water, indicating that more than 97% of municipal water wells whose water quality does not comply with the standards for drinking water quality, This prompted the population to rely on private groundwater desalination plants to supply this water.
The official in the Water and Environmental Quality Authority called on the international community and friendly countries to move quickly to lift the stifling siege on the Gaza Strip, open the crossings, and introduce materials and equipment needed for water and sanitation projects and reconstruction projects in the Strip, in order to avoid the dangerous health, social, economic and humanitarian consequences facing more than 2.3 million residents. The sector, due to this crisis related to water, poor infrastructure, wastewater treatment and reuse.
Salem called for a speedy move to find solutions to the complex water crisis that has accumulated for decades by accelerating the construction and equipping of the central seawater desalination plant to provide drinking water and improve the service provided to the citizen, which was long overdue and caused the depletion and destruction of the coastal aquifer.
Salem stressed the need to work on providing the energy sources needed to operate water and sanitation facilities 24 hours a day, and to finance projects for rainwater harvesting by constructing and equipping the infrastructure necessary to collect and filter this water and supply groundwater with it, in a way that ensures that floods do not occur in low-lying areas and cause Serious damage to the population, and financing projects to develop drinking water and sewage networks and reuse them in agriculture to ensure that the Palestinian environment is not polluted.
Salem stressed the need to move quickly in order to pressure the occupation and prevent it from seizing and stealing water resources represented by the natural lateral flow of groundwater in the Gaza Strip through its wells spread on the eastern borders, as well as confiscating it and preventing the flow of surface water in Wadi Gaza, Wadi al-Salqa and Wadi Beit Hanoun permanently and continuously. Throughout the year, in addition to seizing the vast majority of our underground water resources in the West Bank, the waters of the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea area.
He stressed the speed of action to pressure the occupation and demand it not to open the gates of the dams located on the streams of valleys in the eastern Gaza Strip, pointing out that they were pumped in advance in a short period of time in large quantities and suddenly during the rainy season, causing floods and cases of drowning and causing severe damage to the population and farmers.
Salem called for the necessity of prosecuting the occupation for all its crimes against the Palestinian people and compensating it for all the damages it sustained in all sectors, especially the water sector, as a result of these crimes and aggressive and inhumane practices.
He pointed out that the Gaza Strip is affected by the phenomenon of climate change that the world is experiencing these days and its reflection on all agricultural, industrial and service sectors, noting that it suffers from a severe accumulated and escalating water crisis.
Salem explained that the water crisis has reached its climax in terms of quantity and quality, and the gap between what is available and what is required has increased, noting that water consumption has reached about 250 million cubic meters annually, while the average rainfall in the sector is estimated at about 130 million cubic meters annually, from which the aquifer only benefits. About 40-50 million cubic metres, while the rest of this water is wasted in the form of surface runoff towards the sea or towards the low interior.
He pointed out that this often causes natural disasters in the form of cases of drowning and floods, leaving huge material damages in various important sectors, as happened in the past few days in many areas in the Gaza Strip, especially in Gaza City, as a result of the weak infrastructure for collection and disposal. Rainwater and its damage in many areas as a result of the recent aggression of the occupation on the Gaza Strip last May.