Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Factsheet:Water in the West Bank

This document was released yesterday by COGAT and it answers a lot of the lies we keep hearing about water usage in the territories.

Here's the FAQ section:
Do settlers get more water than the Palestinians?
As Israeli citizens,  settlers’ water falls within the Israeli allowance allocated by the Interim Agreement. The 350,000 settlers in the West Bank consume 47 MCM/year which means 134m3/year of fresh natural water per capita. This is lower than the Israeli allowance of. 150 m3/year.

Do settlers ‘steal Palestinian water?
 No. Settler consumption falls within the Israeli allocation, and therefore does not tap into, or affect, the Palestinian allocation. Settlers source their water only from Israeli sources (which includes approved Israeli wells in the  West Bank) and sourcing directly from Israel.  The water sourced from Israel amounts to 100MCM in total, of which 52.5 MCM for Palestinian usage, and 47.5 MCM for settler usage (in addition
 Palestinians produce 140 MCM/ year themselves)  although in reality settler ,usage is lower than this thus leaving more water .for the Palestinians.

 Does Israel use Palestinian water?
 No. Israel uses strictly the amount of fresh water allocated by the agreement, and does not tap into Palestinian allocation.

 Does Israel continue its presence in the West Bank as this offers a water advantage?
 No. Israel’s consumption from the Mountain Aquifer (and freshwater consumption in general)  is distinctly lower than it was in 1967: In 1967 Israelis consumed 504 m3/year per capita (total water consumption of
1411MCM/year) of fresh natural water. In 2009 Israeli consumption was 137 m3/year per capita (total water consumption of 1040 MCM/year), and this despite a considerable population increase since1967.

 Does Israel need the West Bank in order to access the underground aquifer?
 No. The aquifer is spread  out under both Israel and the West Bank, with the largest part of the aquifer
 actually lying beneath Israel: 8900 km, while only 5600 lie under the West Bank.

 Does Israel sell water to the Palestinians at inflated prices?
 No. The trade price of  water between the Israeli and Palestinian sides was established by the JWC Pricing Protocol in 1998, as 2.6 NIS per .cubic meter for the PWA. This is a considerably lower rate than the full real price and also significantly lower than that paid by Israeli municipalities, both within Israel and the West
 Bank (the average Israeli Municipality pays 3.86 NIS per cubic meter.)

 Is it difficult for Palestinians to drill wells?
 No, and the procedure  is identical for Israelis wishing to drill wells. The procedure for drilling wells requires either one or two steps. The first step is to get an approval for the well by the JWC. This applies to both
 Israelis and Palestinians wishing to drill wells in the West Bank. If the well is located within Areas A or B, Palestinians do not need any further approvals or permits and can start drilling. If the well is within Area
 C, both Israelis and Palestinians require a permit from the Civil Administration, which approves and permits
  99% of requests.

You can read the whole thing here:
Factsheet: Water in the West Bank