Desalination has eased the water shortage, but continued drought, over-pumping and the needs of a growing population are playing havoc with the country’s ecology.
Plan that would have built desalination and water-purification plants suffered major delays due to planning errors and funding problems; state lays blame at local authorities' doorstep.
Some government agencies are keen to increase supply to both settlers and Palestinians, but politicians are putting up obstacles. Either way, the Palestinians are ending up with much less.
Israel is calling for a renewal of the Joint Water Committee, but the Palestinians’ experience is that the panel just strengthens the settlements and perpetuates Israeli control of the water sources.
Chickens and gardens in Salfit die of dehydration, and factories are shut down in an effort to conserve water; 'We woke up one morning to an empty reservoir,' the mayor says. 'Had we known ahead of time that the water would be cut off, we would have stocked up.'
Water is the only issue in which Israel (still) finds it difficult to defend its discriminatory, oppressive and destructive policy with pretexts of security and God.
Israel says region's intense heatwave combined with Palestinian Water Authority's refusal to approve additional infrastructure had led to 'old and limited pipes being unable to transfer all the water needed.'
The easiest, fastest and most logical way to prevent a humanitarian and environmental disaster would be to pipe a lot more cheap water from Israel into the Strip.
The Water Authority opposes this move, claiming that this is coercion of individual citizens, with the health benefits of fluoridation still a controversial matter.
The Levant region could already be feeling the effects of human-induced climate change, the agency reports.