Palestinians Repair Crumbling Infrastructure to Weather Water Crisis


(A view of flood water in an olive grove in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, last October. The filthy water killed about 30 olive trees. Photo from Ma’an News).

The regional water crisis has hit the West Bank and Gaza hard, and the Palestinian Water Authority is rushing to repair crumbling infrastructure to maximize the little water available, Ma’an reports.

The first well to come back on line is in the town of Beit Fajjar, outside of Bethlehem, which had been out of commission for three years. In the meantime, the Israeli Mekorot water company had been supplying 5,000 cubic meters a day to the residents of Bethlehem and Hebron. Ma’an reports that the rehabilitation cost $150,000. The repaired well will be part of the Palestinian water network, rather than the Israeli one.

“PWA Director Shadad Al-Atili said that that the three-year shut down of the well resulted from bacterial contamination that resulted when fertilizers from nearby farms seeped into the water supply. He said that Israel had refused to allow the well to operate until lab tests showed that the water was safe.”

The next well repair will be in Al-Rashayda, also near Bethlehem.

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