Gaza Unliveable by 2020 and Its Water Undrinkable by 2016

gaza-un-unliveble-2020-water-undrinkable-2016-israelIt’s all bad news for Gazans – a UN report reveals that that region is under immense environmental stress which looks set to worsen unless dramatic action is taken

A comprehensive report released by the UN this week has warned that Gaza will no longer be ‘liveable’ by 2020 unless dramatic action is taken to improve its water supply, power, health and schooling. It adds that Gaza’s rapidly rising population of about 1.64 million could also lose its main source of fresh water by 2016. Clean water is limited for most Gazans to an average of 70-90 litres per person per day – the minimum global World Health Organization standard is 100 litres a day. “Damage to the coastal aquifer will be irreversible without immediate remedial action,” says the UN report.

A five year Israeli blockade supported by Egypt has crippled the Gazan enclave although Israel partly eased restrictions in mid-2010 and there have been improvement since. Real GDP is estimated to have risen by 28% percent in the first half of 2011 and unemployment dropped to 28 percent from 37 percent in 2010.

Even so, the report said that growth over the next eight years would be slow and due to its isolation, Gaza’s economy is essentially non-viable. Robert Turner, the director of operation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said that by 2020 Gaza will need 440 new schools, 800 more hospital beds and over a 1,000 additional doctors.

The water situation has been highlighted as a major issue that needs serious action. Palestinians have been digging deeper and deeper to reach groundwater and have in the process damaged their water resources. According to IRIN, an average of 160 million cubic meters (mcm) of water is taken from the aquifer per year, but it is only fed with 50-60 mcm from rainfall and water-runoff from the Hebron Hills every year. This has resulted in a huge gap between water availability and usage. As a consequence, ground water levels have been falling, allowing seawater intrusion. Indeed, a desalination plant costing about $350 million is planned for the area.

: Image of fisherman in Gaza via Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Shutterstock.com

:: IRIN and Jordan Times

For more on Gaza see:

Gaza Getting 20! Zero-Emission Eco Schools

Israeli Environment Minister Proposes Cuts to Gaza Electricity to Bridge Shortfalls

Gaza Seawater Desalination Plant Backed By Europe

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4 thoughts on “Gaza Unliveable by 2020 and Its Water Undrinkable by 2016”

  1. Maurice says:

    Family planning should be practiced in Egypt as well as that country has
    a population explosion of its own.

    Regarding Gaza, instead of being unwilling to work together with Israel, the Gazans might consider some mutual cooperation; especially on water projects. But I guess that is just a dream, considering current circumstances.

  2. Jay says:

    @Jtr

    So much agree with you. Try family planning and make population numbers according what you have not what your imagination predicts!!!!

  3. boris says:

    Surrendering rockets and stopping attacks on borders would bring fast end to blockade. But it would not be first priority of Gaza’s rulers. Now they blame everybody other than themselves.

  4. JTR says:

    The Gaza population was deliberately exploded to threaten Israel. There was never a moment’s concern that too many people on such a small strip of land might not be able to survive without massive outside support. Now there’s not enough water, so what to do? They could reduce their population with family planning education, but the religious fanatics who control the people won’t even talk about it.
    So, some sort of disaster appears inevitable.

    Most people are good, but too much of any good thing turns it bad.

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