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    Posted July 24, 2013 by

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    Palestine-Israel Water Shortage

    Global Warming and Water Scarcity:
    Global warming and water scarcity are two great issues that we are facing currently. According to Beckey, many politically unstable areas of South Asia are "water-stressed," meaning the areas are facing water scarcity due to poor infrastructure or simply lacking enough water to meet demand.
    The United Nations (UN) included, that water scarcity has affected every continent in the world. Around 1.8 billion people, which makes it 1/5 of the worlds population, ¼ of the world’s population are going to face economic water shortage challenges, where countries are lacking the needed infrastructure to consume water from rivers, aquifers, and other sources. Also water has been consumed very greatly in this century, water has been consumed as much as twice more than the prior century. Water scarcity can be natural or man-made implemented, there is enough water for 6 billion people but unfortunately water has been distributed and divided unevenly. With the existing climate change scenarios or global warming, almost half the world’s population will be living in areas with high water stress by 2030. An area is experiencing water stress when annual water supplies drop below 1,700 m3 per person. When annual water supplies drop below 1,000 m3 per person, the population faces water scarcity, and below 500 cubic meters "absolute scarcity".

    As it shows in the graph, most of the water scarcity is taking affect in the Middle East and the North African countries. These countries are in instinct water scarcity because they are low on water supply, as there is little to no rivers and aquifers. The image below illustrates the water sources in that certain area.

    A good example of a hand made water scarcity by not distributing and dividing evenly is Israel/Palestine. The Israeli Government has limited the water supply beyond the border/wall of Palestine. The Israeli Government cuts the water supply completely off on the Palestinians, but for 2 days of the week usually Monday and Wednesday, varies from area to area. Though it may sound like a very sustainable idea to do so, in order to avoid more threatening water shortage. The Israeli Government has the water supply running at all times, when it comes to the Israeli side of the wall/border.
    According to a BBC News Report, Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic minimum of clean, safe water, amnesty international says. An average Palestinian daily water consumption reaches 70 liters; some Palestinians hardly get 20 liters, which may be below the minimum recommended even in humanitarian emergencies. On the other hand, Israeli settlers are using up to 300 liters daily, while they are enjoying lush gardens, swimming pools, and water parks. While some Palestinians cannot have their shower or the water supply to wash their cloths. Israel has entirely appropriated the Palestinians share of the Jordan River and uses 80% of a key shared aquifers leaving only 20% to the entire Palestinian population. Also, Palestinians are not allowed to drill wells without Israeli permits, which are nearly impossible to get. Even Rainwater harvesting cisterns are often destroyed by Israeli army, as one Israeli soldier said, rooftop Palestinian household water tanks are "good for target practice”. Much of the land cut off by the west bank barrier is land with good access to aquifers. Israeli Military have also damaged $6 million worth of water infrastructure during the Cast lead operation in Gaza.

    The photo above illustrates what Israeli Military has done and still doing, destroying water tanks that are placed on the roofs of Palestinian households, these tanks are the only source of water for families, which are refilled 2 days a week, if fortunate.

    Some small villages in Palestine had a good supply of water and had an agricultural environment, while growing fruits and vegetable. Typical agricultural villages are located in valleys between mountains, for the reason that water sources flow down from the mountain to increase pressure and have a better water distribution to the land. While having this great water supply and agricultural lifestyle, Israeli settlers started to move in and build new settlements and kept expanding to the point where they now have occupied most of the mountainous areas around small villages that are located in the valleys. By building these new settlements Israeli Settlers had to establish a sewage system in order to keep the land a livable environment, but by doing so they have made a sewage system that transports the waste down the valley into the Palestinians villages, making the water that the villagers once lived off of a very unhealthy, unsanitary poisonous water that cannot be used to water the plants and water the thirsty.

    A Palestinian Villager looks upon one of the many new Israeli Settlements, as he once had great agricultural land that fed his family and the whole village, but now is just a simple green-grassed piece of land due to sewage that flows down from the Israeli Settlers.

    As American citizens we are very well comfortable with the water supply, as we may shower twice a day, use water without considering a potential shortage of it. Though as I have personally experienced the water supply in Palestine, it is a very crucial and political subject, as I am used to showering a few times a day, washing my clothes on a daily basis here in the Americas. On the other hand, in Palestine people are very cautious when consuming the water. For the reasons that the water may or may not come on 2 days a week, but the Israeli Government does not make it any easier, they often delay the water supply till unreasonable hours of the day. By turning on the water supply at midnight making it impossible for people to comfort themselves with the water they have awaited for the whole day.
    Water is a necessity in every part of the world and to every individual, though some countries might not have the sanitary source of it, in other words not having clean water such as some countries in Africa. But to those who do for instance like Israel, water should be distributed and divided evenly among the people. Not doing so is inhumane and not very well justified, and had put the Palestinian side in deep scarcity due to the way that the Israeli Government approached the issue and not limiting the water on themselves, keeping the same life-style as if water is an endless source, and giving some of the wealthy Palestinians an option to buy more water from their Israeli water companies, and selling the water at a very high price almost as much as 10 times the price for Israelis, as if it’s a luxury item.

    More over, Global Warming in the Middle East is a very hot topic. According to Iyad, The Middle East is the world’s most water stressed region. Climate change is expected to make water resources even scarcer in the countries of Jordan and Palestine. Global warming and global climate change are expected to cause a rise in sea level and extreme weather changing events such as droughts, flooding, and less precipitation. Social level is also being affected, water becoming scarce, due to the entire climate and political changes, and making water prices sky- rocket. Annual decreases in precipitation, has led to less fresh water availability.
    As the Green Zionist Alliance stated, the assumed mean temperature has an increase of 1.6 and 1.8 Celsius. The reduction in precipitation is between 4 and 8 percent, and the increase in evapotranspiration is by nearly 10 percent, also great seasonal temperature variability is expected. Mediterranean biomes are expected to shift 300 to 500 km northward. Also, the Palestine and Jordan would become more desert-like. Coral reefs are bleaching, and a great increase in jellyfish population.

    The photo above illustrates the drought impact in the Middle East.

    In conclusion, the Palestine and the Middle East as a region
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