A report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics shows that the Palestinian Authority was forced to buy more water than ever to meet its needs last year.

The 49.4 million cm purchased in 2007 was a 13 per cent increase on the 43.9 million cm bought in the previous year.

Water resources in the West Bank and Gaza Strip remain tightly controlled by Israel. Other than water from wells and springs, most water is purchased from Mekorot and is predominantly used for domestic use.

The report shows that the total water supplied for domestic use in the Occupied Territories was 175.6 million cm last year. Total water consumption rose to 335.4 million cm last year, up from 319.1 million cm in 2006.