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PCBS | PCBS&PWA: The World Water Day, March 22, 2019

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestinian Water authority (PWA) Issue a Press Release on the Occasion of
World Water Day, March 22th, 2019

Theme for World Water Day 2019 is " "Leaving no one behind…Water for all", which is the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals: as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.

On the occasion of World Water Day, March 22, PCBS and PWA Issue a press release. The UN announced that the theme of World Water Day 2019, is "Leaving no one behind…Water for all".

62% of Households Use improved Drinking Water Source
The availability of clean and accessible water for all is an essential part of the goals of sustainable development goals.  First target of goal 6, which focuses on equitable access to an improved drinking water by 2030.

With regard to Palestine in terms of the said goal, the results of Census 2017 showed that  62% of households use an improved drinking water source (piped into dwelling, protected dug well/ protected spring, rainwater, bottled water and public tab); 95% in the West Bank and 11% in Gaza Strip (The decrease in the Gaza Strip was due to the deterioration in the quality of water extracted from the coastal basin).
As for the type of localities, these percentages were distributed to 58% in Urban localities, 94% in Rural localities, compared to 44% in Camps.

88 Liter/capita/day Palestinian Water Consumption Rate
The daily allocation per capita from consumed water for domestic purposes is 88.3 liter/capita/day in Palestine. The West Bank and Gaza Strip had the same rate in 2017.

This rate is considered to be a result of the consumed water quantities divided by the population. There are some localities where the average per capita consumption does not exceed 50.4 liters per day, while this rate exceeds 150 liters per day in other localities such as Jericho. Thus, the goal of achieving justice in distribution among the localities is one of the main challenges faced by the State of Palestine.

More than 97% of the Water Pumped from the Coastal Aquifer does not Meet the Standards of the World Health Organization
The amount of water extracted from the coastal aquifer  for domestic use was 178.7 million cubic meters (MCM) in Gaza Strip in 2017, 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 MCM a year. More than 97% of the water pumped from the coastal aquifer in Gaza Strip does not meet the water quality standards of the World Health Organization, this leading to the depletion of groundwater reserves, with the groundwater level in the coastal aquifer reached 19 meters below sea level.

77% of Available Water is from Surface and Ground Water
Data showed that the percentage of the exploitation of surface and ground water from available water in the year 2017 was high, with an average of 77%.

It should be noted that the Palestinians have been denied access to extraction from the Jordan River since 1967, which was estimated about 250 MCM.

On the other hand, the quantity of Water Pumped from Palestinian Wells in the West Bank in 2017 was 86 MCM from Eastern aquifer, Western aquifer and North-Eastern aquifer.

22% of Available Water in Palestine Purchased from Israeli Water Company "Mekorot"
With scarce water and Israeli restrictions on access to resources, Palestinian cities are forced to purchase water from the Israeli water company “Mekorot”. In 2017, they purchased 83 MCM, which represented 22% of the water available in Palestine (375 MCM). Additionally, 23.5 MCM of water were produced from Palestinian springs while 264.5 MCM are pumped from ground water wells, and 4.0 MCM desalinated drinking water.

Note:  Data mentioned in the press release exclude those parts of Jerusalem which were annexed by Israeli Occupation in 1967, except  data of the source of improved Drinking Water.