Palestinian water quality falls despite improved connectivity

12 October 2008
The number of Palestinian households connected to a water network has increased over the last decade, but the quality of that water has fallen dramatically and remains extremely variable across the Occupied Territories, according to a survey by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

The latest results from the Environmental Survey 2008 show that the number of housing units connected to a water network in the West Bank and Gaza, now stands at 88.2 per cent. This marks a 3.2 per cent increase from the 84.8 per cent level recorded in 1999.

However, the percentage of households considering their water quality to be good has dropped significantly, to a 45.6 per cent average from 67.5 per cent in 1999.

The survey also found a wide discrepancy between the West Bank and Gaza in local assessment of water quality. While 64.3 per cent of households in the West Bank consider the quality of their domestic water supply to be good, this drops to 13.8 per cent in the Gaza Strip, where much of the power and water infrastructure is run-down, and where wells are often damaged or contaminated.

At present, 50 per cent of households in Gaza consider their water quality to be bad, compared with 14 per cent in the West Bank.

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