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Israel hogging Gaza water sources

More than 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip lack access to basic humanitarian supplies such as shortage of water resources.

Many Palestinians are forced to purchase bottled water for their daily needs, as water coming from their taps has run dry, a Press TV correspondent reported on Thursday.

The Gaza aquifer is the only source of water for residents of Gaza. Reports show that 90 percent of its water is not suitable for human consumption due to high levels of nitrate and salinity.

In an interview with Press TV, public health coordinator Tracey Wise said, “Because of such limited amounts of water in Gaza that’s acceptable for human consumption, mostly this is the shallow, coastal aquifer, and this aquifer is being over-pumped, so much water is being taken out to supply the needs of Gazans, that you have much more intrusion of sea water.”

“And then also you have upwelling of this very, very old water that has high salinity and high concentrations of other pollutants,” she added.

Meanwhile, Israel has installed huge pumping stations all along the shared border, diverting water before it reaches the aquifer of Gaza.

Israel has imposed a blockade on the region since June 2007, preventing the entry of hundreds of items, including essential industrial materials needed to repair the water infrastructure.

During the Gaza war, bombs completely destroyed three water wells and much of the water system infrastructure in Gaza.

The Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) has reported Israel’s daily water consumption per capita at around 320 liters while the consumption of Palestinians in Gaza is less than 90 liters.

“We need to start to think about unconventional water sources, [such as] the sea, along with other solutions,” said CMWU Director Munzer Shuplaq.

According to recent statistics conducted by CMWU, residents of the coastal enclave will not find healthy water to drink by the year 2015.

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