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Safe Water for Palestine 2007

The project “Safe Water for Palestine” aimed to highlight priorities for the water sector in Palestine regarding prospective and future cooperation. GIWEH identified a great need to develop a scientific water monitoring program in Palestine and to understand the ramifications of the existing regional water cycle. Additionally, GIWEH identified the need for water quality research and analysis in order to assess the impacts derived from infiltration of heavy metals, pesticides and fertilizers.


GIWEH worked with a group of Palestinian scientists to develop water purification technologies and initiated research programs for water quality. We targeted volatile organic compounds, microbiological analysis, heavy metals, and the impact of pesticides and fertilizers. We developed a monitoring program to integrate water quality monitoring on a microbiological level as well. This project improved public health in Palestine by addressing wastewater percolation effects, which result in hepatitis A (common in the region) that could develop to hepatitis B.

According to Dr. Ayman Rabi (Executive Director of the Palestinian Hydrology group) there are four major issues:

 

  • The rural water supply: many villages or towns are not connected to water networks and they are forced to collect water in traditional methods.
  • The wastewater treatment: its impact, capacity, and the effect of micropollutants such as contraceptive contamination need further investigation.
  • Watershed management: further research is needed to understand the interactions between land use, sedimentation, soil erosion, and upstream-downstream relations.
  • Energy, local waste treatment plants, and desalination: the technology needs to be updated and integrated into the policy and practices surrounding water availability, accessibility, and water quality testing.

Positively, Dr. Ayman Rabi also identified the benefits of information exchange within the water training centers, where training programs instruct people with minimal education to treat different kind of problems in the field to solve the urgent problems and reduce losses.


This project proposed to integrate its results into Palestine’s policy and strategy to enhance water quality with greater focus on microbiological conditions. Results from this project were integrated into GIWEH’s 2008 project, Water for Peace.


Please see the photos here