Haaretz, Dec. 18, 2016



while 90 percent of the inhabitants of the West Bank and 85 percent of the inhabitants of the Middle East and North Africa have access to a faucet for drinking water, only 10 percent of the 2 million or so inhabitants of Gaza can safely drink the water piped into their homes. The other 90 percent do not even associate drinking water with the simple act of turning on a tap: Their water is too saline because of seawater seepage, and too dangerous because of raw sewage or gray-water seeping into the aquifer.

“The people in Gaza are not able to use the water coming into their houses for drinking; they use it for household ends, but for drinking they have to rely on trucks,” Ghosheh said in the press release [....]

There are differences of opinion among Palestinian water specialists regarding the desalination solution. Supporters are convinced that it will decrease Gaza’s dependence on Israel. Opponents, though, are concerned about the environmental damage; argue that the dependence will always exist with regard to the entry of building materials and replacement parts; and warn that, from a practical perspective, the inhabitants of Gaza will not be able to bear the costs by themselves (desalinated water is more expensive). In addition, the fact is that a facility of this sort requires a steady supply of about 25 megawatts of electricity – the source of which remains unclear.