The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) Issue a Press Release on World Water Day, March 22, 2016
Theme for World Water Day 2016 is "Water and Jobs"
On the occasion of World Water Day, March 22, PCBS and PWA issue a joint press release clarifying the importance of the work in water sector, and the positive contribution of this sector in the life of any society.
The theme of the World Water Day this year is "water and jobs". It aims to show how work in the water sector affected worker’s lives and livelihood. On another level, it will present the direct and indirect impacts of such work on communities and their economy. Almost half of the world’s workers (1.5 billion) according to UN data work in water-related sectors. Moreover, nearly all jobs, regardless of the sector, depend directly on water. More than million of workers in this sector do not enjoy full recognition of their roles nor do they enjoy full labor rights..
The Impact of Organizations Working in the Water Sector on the Lives of Citizens
The daily allocation per capita from consumed water for domestic purposes is 79.1 letter/capita/day (l/c/d) in the West Bank in 2014. Where it is 79.7 l/c/d in Gaza Strip in 2014 compared with 91.3 l/c/d in 2013, this shortfall is due to reduce the quantity of pumping from ground water wells in Gaza Strip because of Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip . However, 97% of drinking water in the Gaza Strip does not meet the World Health Organization (WHO) standards and is also less than the minimum quantities recommended by WHO (100 l/c/d) .
Low daily water allocation per capita triggered the need to create institutions to conduct studies on water needs assessment and search of alternative water sources. Such sources may include drilling domestic wells (cisterns). Moreover, such institutions will generate other jobs for Palestinian society.
Four hundred Establishments Mainly Working in the Water Sector
Developing nations suffer from water crisis due to the limited water sources and the impact of climatic changes on quantities and quality of water.
The Palestinian water situation differs from other countries due to prolonged Israeli occupation and its tight control of most of the Palestinian water sources. The Israeli occupation denies the Palestinians right to access their water resources, forcing them to seek alternative solutions. Some of these solutions include the establishment of water-specialized institutions. In 2012, 400 governmental institutions worked mainly on gathering, processing, purification and distribution of water to implement large-scale water projects such as dams and artisan wells. Furthermore, they implement small projects to enable people access water for domestic and agricultural purposes through small wells. Another solution involves treatment of gray water.
Around Three Thousands Workers Working in Water Sector
Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) data showed that the number of workers in establishments specialized in gathering, processing, purification and distribution of water was 2,836 workers in Palestine, 1,950 in the West Bank and 886 in Gaza Strip in 2015.
95% of Households Enjoy Access to Improved Water and Sanitation
Through implementation of water projects and the search for alternative water sources more households started to access to improved water (include connecting to public water network and domestic wells due to UNICEF definition), showing an increase from 93.8% in 2011 to 94.9% in 2015.
Percentage of Households Capable to Access to Improved Water in Palestine (2010-2013, 2015)
In terms of sanitation, the Israeli occupation obstructs any Palestinian construction of wastewater treatment plant, denying the Occupied Palestinian Territory thus the right to benefiting from the treated water.
In Palestine, the percentage of households with access to improved sanitation was 99.2% in 2015. (include connecting to public wastewater network and porous cesspit and tight cesspit).
18.5% 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 2014, they purchased 63.5 million cubic meters (MCM), which represented 18.5% of the water available in Palestine (342.7 MCM). Additionally, 28.2 MCM of water were produced from Palestinian springs while 246.3 MCM are pumped from ground water wells, and 4.7 MCM desliniated drinking water.