Monday - 22 Apr 2019


CMWU: Solutions for the Water Serious Problem

The lack of safe drinking water and home-use valid water problem continues in Gaza strip, a problem that we can call rooted, because it’s not a new or urgent problem.

To which there are many strategic solutions are in process in order to end this severe lack. It’s renewable for it escalates sometimes to reach its peak, especially when the ...

CMWU: Solutions for the Water Serious Problem



The lack of safe drinking water and home-use valid water problem continues in Gaza strip, a problem that we can call rooted, because it’s not a new or urgent problem.

To which there are many strategic solutions are in process in order to end this severe lack. It’s renewable for it escalates sometimes to reach its peak, especially when the electricity issue aggravates and the power goes offline on the populated compounds for hours, preventing the population from access to water for several consecutive days, causing further suffering since they suffer from lack of water and salinity that makes water unsafe for drinking, cooking and in some cases showering in particular areas of Gaza .

Water rooted problem.

The water situation in Gaza is catastrophic, experts and respective parties agree that Gaza water situation is on the verge of collapse, the excessive consumption of aquifer water lowered it’s level to a degree that it’s now below sea level, and with the decrease of rain and the amounts that supply the aquifer over time (whether caused by the decrease of rain amounts, or the land areas due to the increase of population and the spread of buildings, in addition to the destruction of dunes which is the most important and the fastest area that refreshes the aquifer), also the insufficient water treatment projects, the salinity and pollution degree rises quickly.

Another important factor that harms the aquifer is the way of disposal of wastewater, the cesspits are still the way used in several villages and cities in Gaza strip to dispose of the wastewater, adds to the negative aftermath of some old water treatment projects which the department seeks to terminate, and establish a new water treatment system that matches the international standards especially the water harvesting pools in the north.

In addition to the antiquity of the water distribution network which contributes to the dispersion and the waste of large amounts of water, which sometimes becomes another factor that contributes to the pollution and salinity crisis .

Renewable water problems.

The water problem in Gaza could be described as renewable for two main reasons, firstly that the previously mentioned rooted problems still stand,  the excessive consumption of water is continuous and even boosts, due to the annual increase of population which is by up to 4%, which requires more draw each year to meet the increasing needs year after year. And the lack of water that refreshes the aquifer is still a standing problem, in addition to the disposal methods ...etc.

Adds to the preceding the problem of electricity, especially during the crises that took place in summer 2010, the power goes offline for several consecutive hours up to 18 hours each day, causing the water flow to houses to stop as well, either through the stoppage of water pumps that pump from the wells or the stoppage of home pumps that pump the water to the upper tankers, which is a serious problem that gets to the vast majority of the population considering that Gaza people mainly go for vertical expansion,  therefore electricity is a focal factor in the water distribution process, in addition the department is unable to set a schedule coordinate the water distribution with electricity distribution which makes the problem even more complicated.

Coast Municipalities water department and the available solutions

The establishment of the coast municipalities water department was an ambitious stride towards the foundation of a central specialty apparatus concerned with water and sanitation, planning and devising strategies to gradually solve the standing problems and to rise to meet the international standards of water services, but the department inherited a catastrophic situation, it suffers from the blockade as well as other official and private institutions, and from the absence of a firm will towards the ultimate annexation of all water and sanitation departments from the other municipalities in order to be able to control the personnel and resources in a way that enables it to achieve it’s goals.

Despite the challenges and obstacles in it’s way , the department worked and is still working to meet the current water needs, and looking forward to the future to keep up with it’s needs depending on short, medium, long- term development projects, through :

·         Sound management of the aquifer water through digging small wells to meet the needs of localities and the reassessment of pumped amounts from the municipalities wells.

·         Improving the efficiency of distribution networks through the replacement and maintenance of old networks and the implementation of a fair distribution system and surveillance and inspection for leaks and illegal links.

·         Educating the local community through awareness programs and public meetings to inform the people about the water situation and motivate them to pay the water services bills and harnessing the media to reach the established goals.

·         Introducing alternative sources to the aquifer water and going for desalination of water through installing desalination stations on the high salinity wells and establishing sea desalination projects which will take off the burden from the aquifer, also marketing of massive sea water desalination projects one to serve Gaza and the middle provinces and
another to serve Rafah and Khan Younis.

 

·         Improving the rainwater assembly system to benefit from it and injecting it into the aquifer through increasing the efficiency of the assembly pools and the numbers of manholes, encouraging the financiers to establish new projects to reach the maximum point of exploitation of rainwater

·         Improving the efficiency of sanitation water treatment facilities through improving the efficiency of old water assembly network, extension of new networks in the areas that are out of service, to reduce the aquifer pollution, improving the efficiency of water treatment pools to improve the quality of treated water in order to be able to inject it back to the aquifer or use it for agriculture, and establishing new treatment facilities to cover the current and future needs.