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Gaza Palestinians' dire water crisis sees no solution

Monday, August 20, 2018

Subject

Water solutions for Gaza.

Significance

Gaza faces acute shortages of clean water, which the UN has said could make the territory uninhabitable by 2020. A new, large-scale desalination project promises a safe, internally-managed solution. Unlike most proposals for the Palestinians, the project has wide support, including funding from Gulf and Western donors, Israeli backing, enthusiasm from the nominal recipient, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, and apparent tacit agreement from the Islamist Hamas movement, which controls Gaza.

Impacts

  • Project failure could further undermine efforts to manage the impact of overpumping and salinisation on the local groundwater and coastline.
  • High costs might crowd out donor funding for other pressing humanitarian interventions in the Palestinian territories, leading to unrest.
  • Ongoing risks of renewed conflict between Israel and Gaza could significantly impact timely implementation.
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