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PCBS | PCBS and PWA: the Occasion of World Water Day - March 22, 2013

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) Issue a Press Release on the Occasion of the World Water Day, March 22, 2013

Theme for World Water Day 2013 is “International Year of Water Cooperation” 

On the occasion of World Water Day, March 22, PCBS and PWA issue a press release presenting the key indicators related to water in Palestine.

The theme for World Water Day 2013 is the “International Year of Water Cooperation “as water is vital to all aspects of human life and the achievement of sustainable development.

Israel Reneges on Implementation of the Terms of Oslo Agreement

The situation of water in Palestine differs from other countries due to the presence of the Israeli occupation that controls all water resources and denies Palestinians their water rights stipulated in Oslo Agreement II of 1995 (Article 40) as the basis for the implementation of planned water projects during the interim period.

Issues relating to water rights were deferred to the final status negotiation and comprised:

·        A share by Palestinians in the major water  basins.

·        Palestinians were provided during five-year interim period with an extra 28.6 MCM from new ground water wells.

·        Estimated “future needs” for the Palestinian West Bank were 70-80 MCM.

It was supposed to start the final status negotiation at the end of the interim period, but it still governs the water sector today, 18 years after Oslo, and results in limited water supplies for Palestinians.

The amount of water obtained from ground water aquifers was estimated to be only 15% while 85% is drawn by Israel, in addition to overdrawing from wells without JWC approval.

Israel Controls Renewable Water Resources

Israel controls the majority of renewable water resources totaling 750 MCM, while  Palestinians receive only about 110 MCM.

 The Palestinian share from the three ground water aquifers should be 118 MCM according to Oslo Agreement II.


Israel also restricts access to water resources and imposes obstacles on the drilling of new water wells.


More Than Half of Water Supplied to Israeli Settlements is Extracted from Palestinian Wells and Aquifer

The estimated amount of water supplied to the settlements is 75 MCM, of which 44 MCM was obtained from wells controlled by Israel in the West Bank. This is believed to be one of the reason for the shortage of water available to Palestinians, whose daily per capita consumption of water was 73 lit/c/d in 2011 compared with Israelis whose consumption is 4 times higher

Prices of Water Purchased in West Bank and Gaza Strip Vary

The importance of water in Palestine has increased due to the absence of legal controls and limited water resources. Water pumped from ground water wells and discharged from water springs totaled 267 MCM in 2011, in addition to water purchased from the Israeli water company ‘Mekorot’of 56.9 MCM in 2011 and priced at 2.7 NIS per cubic meter in the West Bank and 2.4 NIS per cubic meter in the Gaza Strip.

Households not Connected to Water Network Pay Higher Prices

Results from the 2011 survey showed that 91.8% of households in Palestine live in housing units connected to a water network:89.4% in the West Bank and 96.3% in the Gaza Strip.

Households that are not connected to a water network rely primarily on two sources: water cisterns and the purchase of water tanks as shown in the table below:


 Percentage Distribution of Households by the Main Source of  Water


Means of Obtaining Water




Domestic well

Water tanks

Public water network












West Bank






Gaza Strip








These sources of supply are extremely expensive and there is no guarantee of the quality of water provided.

A water tank costs 24.4 NIS per cubic meter in some West Bank governorates. Thisis more than five times the price of one cubic meter from the network. In the Gaza Strip, the average price of a water tank is 27 times higher than water delivered by the waternetwork.