Systematic Review on Water and Public Health in Palestine

“Palestine, Jordan, and most other mid-eastern countries, which are generally characterized by aridity have very limited water resources. Future population projections in these countries place severe demands on already fragile reserves” (Mimi and Jamous, 2010).

Water quality and quantity issues in Palestine have received ample attention in recent years. Local and international non-profits, academics, international development agencies, and governmental bodies have pumped in considerable resources into drawing attention to Palestine’s dismal water conditions. In spite of the proliferation of water studies, water quality and quantity are deteriorating at an alarming rate.

Water resources in Palestine consist primarily of surface water and groundwater resources. Other sources include springs and rainwater that is harvested in cisterns. The major surface water resource is the Jordan River. However, as agreed to in the Oslo Accords, Palestinians do not have any access to water from the Jordan River. Consequently, groundwater resources have become the major source of fresh water supply.

The main aim of this report was to provide an overview of the ramifications of water scarcity on public health in Palestine to accomplish the following:

  • A review of existing national policies or regulations pertaining to the supply of sufficient domestic water supply
  • A comprehensive overview of trends in water quality, quantity, and service level of domestic water supply
  • National challenges of domestic water supply and safety management systems in the country
  • Identification of qualitative and quantitative assessment and research on water scarcity impact on health