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9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999

Section 5: Political and Socio-economic Aspects of Rainwater Catchment

Paper 5.3

Political and Socio-Economic Dimensions of Rainwater Catchment on the West Bank - Palestine

Samar Michael Husary, Abedul Rahman Tamimi, Salam Rihan & Ahmad Allan
Palestinian Hydrology Group


The major components in the Palestinian-Israeli political conflict since 1948 are the land and water resources; i.e., control and management of water. Because of the limited water resources and the land confiscated by the Israelis, many national and international Non-Governmental-Organizations are working together with the Palestinians to take care of their water needs. Within the political context, rainwater catchment is the only water source for the rural areas suffering from water shortage. In fact, 37% of the population of the West Bank live in areas without sustainable water supply systems, and 49% of the communities have no water supply systems.

The Palestinian Hydrology Group, together with other agricultural organizations developed a program to help people in rural areas to collect rainwater for both domestic and irrigation purposes. The program involves construction of concrete ponds and cisterns. Concrete ponds (with a capacity up to 2200 m3) are used to collect rainwater from roofs of greenhouses and direct runoff. The water is used to irrigate the surrounding land and the green houses. Cisterns (with a capacity up to 200 m3) are used to collect rainwater from the roofs of the houses. The program provides beneficiaries with technical and financial support. The beneficiaries from the program used to buy one cubic meter of water for about US$5. Cisterns with a capacity of 150 m3 can fulfill the domestic needs for an average of more than six months and save about 50% of the money allocated for water purchasing. Concrete ponds, used to irrigate uncultivated land or the green-houses, help in providing families with extra income. Besides, the socio-economic dimensions of the program, rainwater collection helps to prevent confiscation of Palestinian land by the Israeli authorities.

PDF of full document (9pp, 37kb)

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