As a consequence of continuing issues between Israel and Palestine, the Gaza strip is facing serious water supply issues. About 1.7 million Palestinians are without clean drinking water and are facing health issues caused by the contaminated water they consume. One prominent issue resulting from contaminated water is the increase of child mortality rates. Economic strains are also occurring as many families spend around 1/3 of their income on bottled drinking water. Even though the water is bottled, recent reports have stated that the water is not guaranteed to meet the World Health Organization’s bottled water standards.
The underground water aquifer that the Palestinians are dependent on has become corroded and is need of repairs. The water currently passing through the aquifer is contaminated seawater due to unfiltered sewage that is allowed to flow into the Mediterranean Sea, which eventually makes its way into the aquifer. A UN report states that the aquifer will be certifiably unusable by 2016 unless action is taken and that the Gaza strip could be considered unlivable by 2020.
The Union for the Mediterranean announced in May 2012 that they would be launching a project for desalination in Gaza to help solve the current water issues. The project is estimated to end in 2016, and will increase the amount of water produced from 55 million cubic meters to 110 million. This is still less than the current consumption of 170 million cubic meters per year. Many other projects have been placed in action but have not made desired progress due to funding issues.