Factors Affecting Water Quality in the West Bank and Gaza Strip of Palestine

Issam A. Al-Khatib, Aysha A. Eshkair, Ne’meh K. Manasreh

Abstract


This study aims at knowing water quality and factors affecting it in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in Palestine. The annual rate of chlorine usage in the districts of the West Bank (0.483 gram/capita) was less than that of Gaza Strip (320.739 grams/capita). The annual rate of inspection visits made by inspectors of Ministry of Health for water sources in Gaza Strip (1.299 visists/1000 persons) was much less than that of the West Bank (6.955 visists/1000 persons). There was a clear effect of the deteriorated environmental situation, unstable political situation, and the declining economical situation on the lowered microbiological, physical and chemical water quality in Palestine.  For example, 22.2% and 12.5% of the tested water samples from wells in the West Bank, and 19.3% and 9.7 of the tested  treated water (desalinated) samples in Gaza Strip for total Coliforms and Faecal Coliforms respectively were exceeding the Palestinian and WHO guidelines limits.

Regarding the chemical and physical quality, it was found that the percentage of tested water samples exceeding the Palestinian and WHO guidelines limits in Gaza Strip was higher than that in the West Bank.

Based on the current situation, necessary remediation measures should be implemented in order to reduce the size of the problem if not to solve it completely, such as the development a suitable inspection program on water sources and samples collection and testing, in addition to the distribution of chlorine to all districts, and conducting wide public awareness campaigns for water disinfection. Rehabilitation of existing water networks mainly in the main cities and having new ones in communities that do not have water networks will highly improve the water quality.


Keywords


Water Quality, Causes of Pollution, Pollutants, Palestine.

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