Gaza is facing a severe water crisis, exacerbated by Israeli authorities’ cuts to water supplies. The impact is dire, with reports from Human Rights Watch highlighting the immediate threat to public health in the region.
Ninety-five percent of the population lacks clean drinking water, putting thousands at risk of preventable death.
This article delves into the origins, human impact, and the pressing need for immediate intervention to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.
Gaza Water Sources
Gaza relies on a combination of local and external water sources. The primary sources include:
Gaza heavily relies on the coastal aquifer for its water needs. Unfortunately, over-extraction and contamination have severely depleted this critical source, leading to a decline in the availability of clean drinking water.
In an effort to address the water shortage, Gaza imports water from external sources, including purchases from Israel and supplies from international organizations. However, the accessibility and quantity of imported water are limited, contributing to the overall scarcity issue.
Water Infrastructure in Gaza
Gaza is facing a critical water crisis, with reports indicating an imminent shutdown of remaining water infrastructure, exacerbating an already dire situation. As of November 16, 2023, all critical water facilities in Gaza are expected to be completely shut down, intensifying the unfolding water catastrophe in the region.
This crisis results from a combination of factors, including the depletion of the coastal aquifer, a decrease in rainwater, and a doubling of the population over recent years.
Israeli forces control the ground around critical water facilities, impacting the functionality of water and sewage treatment in Gaza for weeks. The Palestinian Water Authority reports that fuel and electricity shortages further contribute to the inoperability of these crucial facilities.
The consequences of this water crisis include the unavailability of clean drinking water, with over 96% of Gaza’s water supply deemed unfit for human consumption according to the United Nations.
Effects of War on Water Infrastructure in Gaza
The recent conflict in Gaza has led to devastating consequences for the region’s water infrastructure, exacerbating an already dire water crisis. The war has caused catastrophic damage, resulting in a 90% reduction in water consumption since its onset, severely impacting the availability of clean water.
Essential supplies, including fuel, water, and wheat flour, are lacking, with a functioning mill destroyed. Hospitals face critical water shortages, affecting sanitary conditions and healthcare services.
Inadequate sanitation infrastructure and electricity shortages, worsened by the war, have led to the dumping of untreated sewage water, posing environmental and health risks.
The persistent water scarcity in Gaza, heightened by electricity shortages even before the conflict, underscores the urgent need for attention and solutions to address the region’s water challenges.
Consequences of the Lack of Clean Water in Gaza
The dire lack of clean water in Gaza has resulted in severe consequences, posing a significant threat to public health and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the region.
Reports indicate that 95% of the population in Gaza lacks access to clean drinking water, leading to a range of health issues. The contamination of Gaza’s sole aquifer, with 96% of its water deemed unfit for human consumption, has contributed to widespread illnesses and poses a serious risk of child deaths from dehydration according to UN warnings.
The public health impacts are further exacerbated by a dangerous lack of sanitation, polluted water, and limited access to toilets.
The Solution for Gaza Water Crisis
Water in Gaza is not suitable for drinking because of its salinity, the pollution of seawater with sewage water, the increase in the salinity of groundwater wells, and the scarcity of water that is not commensurate with the population density.
For years, several parties have been working to find solutions to the water crisis, most notably the establishment of desalination plants in the Gaza Strip and sewage treatment.
However, these are strenuous efforts that still face obstacles.
The most lacking is not technical solutions but political will. Because of the occupation, the residents of Gaza will not be able to find a radical solution to water.
Donate to Help Gaza get Clean Water
Your donation can make a life-changing impact for the people of Gaza by ensuring access to clean water, a fundamental necessity for health and well-being.
Join Bonyan in our mission to provide vital Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services to communities facing hardships. Your support enables us to implement projects that focus on water infrastructure development, ensuring sustainable access to clean water sources.
By donating to help Gaza get clean water, you contribute to the construction and maintenance of water facilities, installation of water purification systems, and the development of sanitation infrastructure.
These initiatives not only address immediate water needs but also contribute to preventing waterborne diseases, fostering a healthier and more resilient community.
Your generosity has the power to transform lives, providing families in Gaza with a basic necessity that is often taken for granted. Together, we can make a significant difference in improving the quality of life for countless individuals.
Donate now to be a part of the solution, bringing the gift of clean water to those who need it most. Your contribution is a tangible step towards creating a healthier and more sustainable future for the people of Gaza.
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What Is The Water Problem In Gaza?
The water problem in Gaza stems from a complex interplay of factors. With a rapidly growing population, Gaza faces severe water scarcity, contamination of existing water sources, and inadequate infrastructure. The coastal aquifer, the primary water source, is over-extracted, leading to saltwater intrusion and pollution, rendering much of the water unfit for consumption.
Why Is Gaza Water Undrinkable?
Gaza’s water is undrinkable due to contamination from seawater intrusion, wastewater, and pollutants. The over-extraction of the coastal aquifer, Gaza’s primary water source, exacerbates the problem. The majority of the water from this aquifer is contaminated, posing serious health risks to the population.
Does Israel Supply Gaza With Water?
Israel sells a limited part of the water to the Palestinians in Gaza. While Israel transports water from the north of its territory to the south, the Palestinians are not allowed to move water from the West Bank to Gaza.