Peace in our Time?

November 22, 2006

Evaluation of Drinking Water Quality in Gaza Strip

Filed under: Uncategorized — angelajerusalem @ 9:45 am

Gaza Strip lies on the South-Western part of the Palestinian coastal plain.  It is a semi-arid area, roughly estimated by 365 Km2 with its length approximately 45 km forming a long narrow rectangle.  The annual average daily temperature ranges from 250C in the summer to 130C in the winter.  The average annual rainfall varies from 450 mm/year in the North to 200 mm/year in the South.  Most of the rainfall occurs in the period from October to March while the rest of the year is completely dry (PHG, 2002).  About 1.38 million of the Palestinian people live and work in the narrow strip (PCBS 2005).  Gaza Strip is characterized by scarcity of its natural water resources.  The main source of water in the Gaza Strip is the groundwater aquifer.  Over pumping and low rainfall have limited the quality of water available and have further contributed to the degradation of the water quality.


Water quality of the coastal aquifer underlying
Gaza has deteriorated severely.  This has been brought about a number of reasons, the most important of which is the Israeli occupation (destroy of infrastructure, hold surface and underground water) and the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides.  These malpractices with the uncontrolled discharge of sewage water and solid waste leach have increased the nitrate concentration in the ground water of Gaza Strip. Concentration of more than ten times the international accepted limits have been reported (WHO standard is 45 mg/L).  The reason for drawing attention to nitrate pollution is its toxicity to humans, especially for babies and pregnant women by the so-called “blue babies” syndromes.

On the other hand, there is the salinity problem of the groundwater aquifer in Gaza Strip. The salinity content has show an obvious increase during the 5 past years. Chloride contents less than 200 mg/l has been found only in the northern and south-western parts of Gaza Strip. Very high chloride contents of over 1000 mg/L have been found in the central and the south-eastern parts of the area. This may be the result from over-pumping the aquifer, which induces an increasing groundwater flow from the east, and seawater intrusion from the west, thus raising chloride contents in the fresh water aquifer. The problem of fluoride, sulphate, alkalinity and hardness are well known in many parts of Gaza Strip.

The chemical quality of drinking water wells in Gaza Strip at the year 2006 comparing with WHO standards for TDS, nitrate, chloride, Hardness, Sodium and fluoride are 56%, 80%, 62%, 39%, 62 and 48% respectively.

The microbiological quality of drinking water in wells and networks in Gaza Strip at the year 2006 comparing with WHO standard for total coliform contamination percentage are 8% and 10% respectively.

According to WHO limit, total coliform contamination percentage should not be exceeds than 5% of the total examined samples.

Khalid TebiDirector of water control departmentMinistry of health For further information, you can seePalestinian Hydrology group (PHG) reportsPalestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)Ministry of Health (MOH) annual reports


Blog at

%d bloggers like this: