The Gaza Strip’s underground water supply is facing a massive crisis from rising salinity levels and pollution, Anadolu news agency has reported.
“There is a continuous, high rate fall in the underground water level in most areas of the Gaza Strip,” Mazen Al-Banna from the Water and Environmental Quality Authority told reporters ahead of World Water Day.
World Water Day, which is marked on March 22, is an opportunity to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater sources.
Israel's 'environmental crisis' is of its own making:
Israel's destruction of the environment in Palestinian territories is now threatening Israeli lives.
by Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeohttps://t.co/h4hPoRWNiD
— Saskia Sassen (@SaskiaSassen) July 14, 2019
Al-Banna, who heads the Planning and Awareness Unit at the Water Authority, said that Gaza’s sole coastal aquifer fulfills more than 90 percent of the water needs of the territory’s residents.
He warned that the salinity level in wells across the Gaza Strip has doubled to levels that exceed international standards for drinking water. A staggering 98 percent of water from Gaza’s wells is now unfit for human consumption.
The official also blamed sewage intrusion in Gaza’s underground water reservoir due to poor infrastructure, which pollutes the water available for drinking.
“The occupying state of Israel is fully responsible for the water crisis in the Gaza Strip and for the depletion of its groundwater,” insisted the water official.
“It prevents the natural lateral flow of water along the eastern borders through its wells and prevents the flow of surface water during the rainy season through the various valleys in the territory.”
Al-Banna said that the Israeli blockade of Gaza since 2006 makes it impossible to import materials needed to implement water and sewage projects and for effective water treatment.
In closing, Al-Banna called upon the international community to put pressure on Israel to lift the siege.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)