Hebron Water Crisis: Problems and Solutions

 The Palestinian Water Training Institute (PWTI) and Palestinian Hydrology Group Hebron Branch, in cooperation with the West Bank Water Department, organized a workshop entitled “Hebron Water Crisis: Problems and Solutions.” The workshop was held on April 18, 2011 in Hebron.  The workshop included the participation of the chairman of the Water Authority, Dr. Shdad al Atile, the minister of Local Government, Dr. Khalil al Qwasmi, and the governor of Hebron, Kamil Hamid. Heads of local bodies in the governorate of Hebron, in addition to other parties who take interest in water-related issues, were also in attendance. 
The workshop’s most important recommendations include:

  • To stress the Palestinian right to control water sources including aquifers,  flood water, rain water,  and the Jordan River; these sources are the backbone of Palestine’s future economy and are not transferable
  • To lobby internationally to recruit support for the Palestinians water share from the Israeli side and to organize regional and international campaigning through the media and diplomatic means.
  • To emphasize the role of the local councils in management of drinking water available to the pool for the under the councils supervision. 
  • To concentrate efforts to gain access to effective water management in the Hebron district to ensure fair distribution to all of the citizens under the current pressures that Palestinians are subject to by the Israeli occupation. 
  • To demand all officials in the Palestinian Authority and the governor of Hebron to use all means afforded by law to prevent infringements on water and the halt on water, as well as to stop the trafficking of stolen water on the black market.
  • To obligate local councils and municipalities to pay their debt to the West Bank Water Department and to reactivate the collection system.
  • To emphasize justice in the disruption of the water share between the population of villages, towns, and the Hebron governorate.
  • To utilize financial resources for the development of water networks, water system services and sections of the water department. 
  • To raise public awareness through the media and other channels of communication in conjunction with the government and community organizations. 
  • To request the Ministry of Local Government, local entities and relevant authorities, in cooperation with the Palestinian Water Authority an the West Bank Water Department, to ensure success in the implementation of their plan for the summer of 2011.
  • To ensure a strict, clear system and roles for the water tanks, and to guarantee water distribution in accordance with the West Bank Water Department’s adopted water plan.
  • To develop the unit price of water so that it citizens can be provided with at least the minimum amount.
  • To ensure that a building license will not be submitted unless there is a well for collecting rain water.
  • To invite media agencies to help solve Hebron’s water problem, as it is considered a national issue.
  • To provide drinking water for the communities during emergencies.
  • To focus water that is allocated to the South, mainly to meet the needs of the population, with drinking water being a top priority, yet taking into account the water needs of livestock and industries.