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Ramallah suffers serious water shortage

Residents will get water four days a week with supply cut off for three days

Gulf News

Ramallah: Families in the Betonya and Al Beirah areas of Ramallah are facing even more serious water shortages. The water supply to residents will be limited to only four days a week, with supply cut off for three consecutive days a week.

The Palestinian Water Authority is taking this action in a bid to cope with inadequate water supply from the Israeli occupation forces.

Betonya Mayor Ribhi Dowla said the occupation forces knew exactly how much water the two densely-populated areas needed.

The population of Betonya is about 45,000, and Al Beirah is home to more than 60,000 people.

Dowla said the pressure of the water received on the four days would not be strong enough to meet the needs of families. It would also be a catastrophic blow to the Palestinian industry and economy, as Betonya was a key industrial area of Ramallah.

He said the water crisis had been made more acute because of the huge heatwave over Palestinian territories and Israel, which leads to increased demand for water to meet domestic needs.

He said the municipality had been sending water tankers to key areas, but this measure could not last long.

He said residents were aware that their lands were rich in water resources and believed it was their natural and undisputed right to be connected to water supply around the clock. He said they paid fees for the service in full and on time. Betonya resident Saeed Safti, urged the Palestinian National Authority to act immediately to solve the crisis.

He said a trade in water tankers was going on in the area, with one tanker costing about 200 Shekels (Dh200), which was beyond the reach of ordinary Palestinian individuals.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast War and since that occupation, Israel has been in unilateral control of the water resources of the entire region. Israel sells water to the Palestinians of the West Bank via the Mekorot Water Company, after giving Israeli colonists living in the West Bank the lion’s share.