Only 4% of Gaza household have access to safe water

Middle East Monitor  /  March 22, 2021

A recent study has found that only four per cent of households in the Gaza Strip have access to safe water, compared with 39.5 per cent in the rest of Palestine.

According to a study released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestinian Water Authority yesterday and reported by the Wafa news agency, 66.2 per cent of Palestinian households in the occupied West Bank have access to safe water.

The report also found that the daily allocation of water per capita is less than the internationally recommended rate, adding that it is decreasing.

According to the report, the daily allocation per capita of consumed water for domestic purposes was 81.9 litres for a Palestinian individual every day in Palestine: 85.6 litres in the West Bank, while it is 77 litres in the Gaza Strip in 2019.

As a result of population growth and water pollution in the Gaza Strip, the per capita share of freshwater is only 22.4 litres per day.

More than 97 per cent of the water pumped from the coastal aquifer does not meet the standards of the World Health Organisation, leading to the depletion of groundwater reserves, where the groundwater level in the coastal aquifer reached 19 metres below sea level.

With scarce water and Israeli restrictions on access to resources, Palestinian cities are forced to purchase water from Mekorot, the report said, stating that in 2019 the Palestinians purchased 20 per cent of their water needs, while the rest was access through pumping groundwater and desalinisation.