Desalinization Plant Needed to Prevent Gaza from Becoming "Unlivable"

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency warns in a new report that the aquifer underlying Gaza is rapidly depleting, and could be beyond repair by 2020, rendering Gaza "unlivable." Hope may lie in massive investments in a desalinization plant.

To cope with rapid depletion of Gaza's water supplies, as well as address wider -- and politicized -- water issues in the region, plans are being discussed for a desalization plant that would also provide electricity to Gaza, as we as pipelines between the Red and Dead Seas.

"Plans for a desalination plant for Gaza have been discussed since 1996, but with water one of the underlying causes of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, political and security issues have always prevented work from starting. Last year the Palestinian water authority submitted new plans to the Union for the Mediterranean. However, what gives the scheme at least the possibility of success is that the principle of a desalination plant for Gaza is now backed by Israel, all Mediterranean governments, the UN, the EU and key development banks.

Desalination may not be the most environmentally suitable solution...[however] Palestinian Authorities hope that the plant will be the cornerstone of a larger scheme to provide much needed electricity and clean water for everyone in Gaza. The next stage...is for the [European Commission] to provide €4m for technical assistance. However, access to water across the region has become highly politicised and regional conflict has stymied all efforts to share it between countries. Water resources have paid a high price as the Middle East region has grown vastly in numbers in the past 50 years."

 

Full Story: Water crisis will make Gaza strip 'unliveable'

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