Competing demands for water

Pakistan and Israeli conflict as a result of lack of freshwater in Gaza.

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For the more than 3.7 million Palestinians who live in Gaza water shortages and water deterioration affects their health. Moreover, the water crisis creates agricultural, economic, social, and political instabilities that have regional consequences. Most of the existing problems are a direct and indirect result of Israeli policy.

Gaza has a sub-Aquifer, which is a part of the Coastal Aquifer (that lies along the Mediterranean coastline of Israel and the Gaza *****). By 1967, when Israel occupied Gaza, the sustainable yield of the aquifer was being fully utilized. Since then, as the population has grown, so too has the demand for fresh water. No serious attempt was made at exercising any water management strategy in the Gaza ***** during the Israeli administration, with the number of registered wells increasing from 1200 in 1967 to 2100 in 1993.

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Today, one estimate shows the people of Gaza over abstract (over-pump) between 120-140 million cubic meters (MCM) of water from the coastal aquifer per year, but the sustainable yield of the Gaza sub-aquifer is between 50-60 MCM/yr.

Gaza is also enduring a high increase in its population, hence continuously using more freshwater. Consequently, Gaza’s growing need of freshwater has led to conflicts with Israel as the surrounding aquifers all lie in Israeli territory.

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