RAMALLAH, March 21, 2018 (WAFA) - More than 97% of the water pumped from the coastal aquifer in the Gaza Strip does not meet the water quality standards of the World Health Organization, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) said in a joint press release issued on Wednesday marking World Water Day, which coincides on March 22, under the theme “Nature for Water”.
The amount of water extracted from the coastal aquifer in Gaza Strip in 2016 for domestic use was 167.2 million cubic meters, but this quantity is obtained via unsafe pumping that jeopardizes sustainability of the source knowing that the basin sustainable yield should not exceed 50-60 million cubic meters a year, said the press release.
On the other hand, the quantity of water pumped from Palestinian wells in the West Bank in 2016 was 84.4 million cubic meters from eastern aquifer, western aquifer and northeastern aquifer.
It should be noted that the Palestinians have been denied access to extraction of water from the Jordan River since 1967, which was estimated at about 250 million cubic meters.
The results of statistics on water in Palestine in 2015 showed that 94.9% of households live in housing units with access to an improved water source according to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) definition, which includes public network and domestic well.
The daily allocation per capita from consumed water for domestic purposes is 83 liter/capita/day in Palestine - 82.3 l/c/d in the West Bank and 84 l/c/d in Gaza Strip in 2016.
The percentage of cultivated land in Palestine is about 15.5% of the total area, of which about 84.5% are rain-fed and 15.5% are irrigated, which consumes about 47.5% of the water pumped from underground wells.
The amount of rainfall in 2017 was 356 mm in Hebron station (60% of main average), and 46 mm in Jericho station (28% of main average), and the distribution of rainfall level was concentrated in most of the governorates in January and February during the year 2017.
Data showed that the percentage of the exploitation of surface and ground water from available water in the year 2016 was high, with an average of 77.2%.