90% of WB water is under occupation control 22Jun12 June 22, 2012

Palestinian Information Centre  -  21 June 2012

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The water crisis in the West Bank worsens especially in the southern provinces, each year with the beginning of summer, because of the increased water consumption. Many officials and experts said that this water crisis is due to the occupation control over water resources and the local mismanagement in distributing water.

Palestinian water Authority Chief Shaddad Attili held the Israeli occupation responsible for the water crisis because of its disregard to Oslo conventions and its refusal to provide the Palestinian territories with the quantities of water upon which the two sides agreed and to allow drilling wells and setting up projects for water supply.

Attili told Quds Press that the occupation is controlling about 90% of water resources in the West Bank while only the remaining 10% are given to the Palestinians. Yet, the occupation authorities have been refusing to establish transmission lines for water in areas classified as “C”, which are under full Israeli control according to Oslo agreement.

He criticized the local bodies in a number of Palestinian municipalities, holding them partly responsible for the water crisis because of the mismanagement of the distribution and the transport of water and the absence of tables that identify the arrival of water to certain areas, in addition to the lack of improvement and maintenance of the water transmission networks, which doubles the amount of lost water.

The Palestinian official stressed that “the water is available in larger quantities than last year and there will be no crisis this year, especially after planning a number of projects to control the water crisis based on drilling four new water wells in the south, in addition to a big project to reduce wastage of water,” noting that “the amount of water owned by the citizens in their private wells exceeds the amount of water owned by the government”

For his part; Abdul Hadi Hantash, an expert in settlement affairs, stated that the occupation controls 84% of the amount of water in the West Bank after seizing its three water basins and preventing Palestinians from exploiting them.

He told Quds Press that the occupation authorities transmit 52% of the amount of water in the West Bank to the 1948-occupied Palestine and one-third of the amount water is transferred to the settlements leaving the West Bank with only 16% of the amount of water.

The Palestinian expert revealed that the occupation prevented the Palestinians even from exploiting the bulk of the 532 springs of water of the West Bank after demolishing many of them, while it prevented the drilling of wells and building of dams for rainwater utilization.

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