Baseline of a Desecrated Land III: Occupied water

Baseline of a Desecrated Land III: Occupied water
Part 3 of a 12 part series examining the ecological impacts of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
A synopsis of the findings is here.

by Dick Callahan, reposted from

State Mandated Water Poverty

“Today the Golden People of California have elected to adopt Israel’s water model. Now, in order for this thing to work, half of you will get 15 percent of your water. We Golden People will get 85 percent of your water, plus we get our own water, plus we’ll attack every state around us so we can take their water. Thank-you and have a great day.”Jerry Brown, Governor of California—has never said this.

“Is it possible today to concede control of the [West Bank Mountain] [A]quifer, which supplies a third of our water?… You know, it’s not by accident that the settlements are located where they are.” Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is quoted as saying this in response to a question about whether removing Jewish colonies from the West Bank would ever be possible.

As I said in the introduction of this series, our focus isn’t Arabs, but any valid discussion of how well Israeli water technology would work in America needs at least a nod at how Israel hogs everybody else’s water.

Ariel Sharon once told Ranan Lurie of Playboy Magazine, “My evaluation is, the world owes us, the Jewish people.” That’s about the most honest evaluation you’ll find of how Israelis view the regional water resources. We can divide non-Israeli sources into the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) that traditionally belonged to Palestinian Christians and Muslims, and to water flowing in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Most of us aren’t numbers people but I’ve included water volumes of the Occupied Territories and Israel for readers with the inclination, especially science and political teachers, to compare them with their own local streams and rivers so students can get a feel for how little water we are talking about. Your local water flow data is available from the amazing USGS Streamflow Information Program. The data aren’t always intuitive but you can call the local office and ask for annual stream/river flow in cubic meters and they’ll help clarify.

Israel taking West Bank water:

On the Jordan River’s occupied West Bank there are 2,748,000 Palestinians, plus between 600,000-750,000 Israeli Jewish colonists (about 11% of Israel’s Jewish population), plus tens of thousands of Israeli occupation troops guarding the colonists, all existing uneasily in an area smaller than St. Lawrence County, New York. Throughout history there was enough water for West Bank farmers and the water flowed clean. Today Israel controls the water. There is a man-made shortage for Palestinians and the water is increasingly contaminated with salt, sewage and industrial waste. Exactly how much more water Israeli colonists in the West Bank get than Palestinians is contested but generally Israelis are said to enjoy over 300 liters per capita per day. Average overall water allotment for Palestinians is 73 liters per day with some in the West Bank living on just 20 liters per day. If you’ve got an older flush toilet, 20 liters equals about one flush. The World Health Organization says 100 liters of clean water per day is the minimum needed for health and sanitation.

West Bank water resources are:

Surface Water:
Lakes: none.
Ocean Coastline: none.
Rivers: One, the Jordan. More of the Jordan flows through the West Bank than through Israel, but Israel seized the Jordan entirely in 1967 and denies Palestinians access to the water. Instead, Israel’s water company Mekorot pipes the water to Israel and to Jewish colonies in the West Bank.
Streams/brooks: few flow year round. All are polluted with sewage and industrial waste.
Average rainfall: The West Bank has an annual long-term rainfall average of 450 millimeters (17.7 inches) similar to Brewster County, Texas.

Ground water:
Ground water provides nearly all of West Bank Palestinians’ water. Palestinians accuse Israeli’s and Israeli Jewish settlers of using about 85-86 percent of the West Bank’s water while the Palestinians get about 14-15 percent.
The West Bank’s major water supply is the Mountain Aquifer which is comprised of 3 basins:
a) Western Mountain Aquifer Basin (WMAB) holds the most water with an estimated sustainable yield (esy) of 362-400 mcm/yr. Israel takes 340-430 mcm/yr, and some years over 520 mcm/yr. Palestinians took 28 mcm through wells in 2012.
b) Northeastern Aquifer Basin (NEAB) esy 100-145 mcm/yr. Israelis are taking an estimated 103 mcm/yr mostly from Gralbou area springs. Palestinians used about 23 mcm in 2012.
c) Eastern Aquifer Basin (EAB) esy 145-185 mcm/yr. Israelis take about 50 mcm/yr from wells and another 100 mcm from springs controlled by Israel. Palestinians took about 53 mcm in 2012 from wells and springs combined.

Ground water depends on rainfall and snow melt from mountains to the north for replenishment. Long-term rechargeability for West Bank (total) aquifers is 578-814 mcm depending on how much rainfall there is. Withdrawing 697-877 million cubic meters per year lowers the water table and increases salt concentrations. As with surface water, Mekorot pipes aquifer water into Israel’s distribution system, the National Water Carrier, for Jewish colonies in the Occupied Territories and to Israel—and even to the Negev desert vineyards along the Gaza border but Israel does not allow West Bank to share water with Gaza.

Wells, cisterns, dams:
Israel has punched many new wells into the occupied West Bank but doesn’t allow Palestinians to do the same and doesn’t allow Palestinians to tap into Israeli pipes running Palestinian water across Palestinian land. The Jewish wells are deeper, more efficient and draw more water than Palestinian wells. Because of them Palestinian wells and springs are drying up. Dropping ground water levels increase salt concentrations in Palestinian wells. In addition, Palestinians have documented Jewish colonists deliberately contaminating Palestinian springs and wells by throwing in manure, sewage, dead livestock etc.

Though Israel hardly ever allows permits for Palestinians to develop water options, the West Bank has the Al Auja agricultural dam with a potential to hold 700,000 cubic meters of water, cisterns have potential of 4,000,000 cubic meters of water, and the small Fara dam has a potential for 32,000 cubic meters of water.

Palestinians have a total of 383 wells into the occupied West Bank aquifers of which 119 are not pumping/abandoned. The remaining wells extracted 64 mcm in 2012. 36 mcm went to domestic water use and 28 mcm went to agriculture.

Israelis have 39 wells in the occupied West Back (mainly in the Western Basin) which extract an estimated 54 mcm/yr. There are also over 500 wells inside Israel’s green line which the Palestinians say withdraw more than the annual recharge rate of all the aquifers combined. This is dropping water levels in the aquifers.

The West Bank has about 300 main springs, mostly with fairly small discharges of under 0.1 liter/second (l/s). Annual discharge is variable depending on rainwater and how much is pumped from the water table. Spring extractions are anywhere between 21 mcm in 2011 to 55.6 mcm in 2007.

Israel has commandeered many West Bank springs for Jews-only colonies. An extreme example being Al Auja spring which, in pre-Zionist days was a major source of Jordan Valley water, expelling 1,750 cubic meters of water per hour or 0.486 cubic meters per second (which equals 17.17 cubic feet per second). Walter C. Lowdermilk, working for Zionist interests in Israel in 1944, claimed this spring expelled 291 cubic feet per second (which would be 8.24 cubic meters/second or 29,664 cubic meters per hour). Clearly somebody is way off in their calculations probably Lowdermilk because he tended to exaggerate available water to support Zionist claims that there was enough water to support more Jewish immigration. Either way, back in the day the land around Al Auja was green and lush with crops. People swam and went fishing there. In 1972 Zionists punched two deep wells beside the spring. Today the spring is dried up at the surface. Israel’s national water company Mekorot pipes water from the wells to Jewish colonies. Palestinians are forced to buy their own water, that came from under their feet, at inflated prices from the Israelis.

Palestinians are increasingly denied access to springs they’ve used for centuries and they’re not allowed to make even small repairs like sealing a cracked trough to water their livestock. Jewish soldiers routinely demolish Palestinian wells and springs and use bull dozers to fill them in with rubble.

Wadis are ephemeral streams given to flash flooding during the winter rainy season but have little or no flow most of the year. Comparable to arryos in the American Southwest. There are 33 major wadis in the West Bank with an estimated average total flow of just over 165 mcm/year.
16 flow west towards the Mediterranean. Average runoff is 122.7 mcm/yr.
9 flow east towards the Jordan River. Average runoff is 24.55 mcm/yr.
8 flow east towards the Jordan River. Average runoff is 21.5 mcm/yr.

That works out to an overall flow of about 5.23 cubic meters per second (184.7 cubic feet per second.) If Palestinians were allowed to impound and use wadi surface water they’d enjoy about six times the total current flow of the Jordan.

Segregation Wall:
Israel has built hundreds of miles of segregation barriers inside the occupied territories. Instead of running straight, these walls gerrymander around the terrain going deep into Palestinian lands to seize water sources for the Jewish side and keep Palestinians out. Along wall routes Israel damages springs and wells on the Palestinian side and, as noted, has made it illegal for Arabs to fix them. In some areas when sewage backs up against segregation walls Palestinians aren’t allowed to clear the blockage. Segregation walls keep farmers from tending their fields, which is devastating to farmers. Segregation walls also impede livestock grazing and movement of the regions remaining wild mammals.

The Jewish state’s segregation barriers, by the by, don’t stop at the seashore or at the land’s surface. As of 2018 Israel is building two long militarized jetties at either end of its coastline, one south of Ashkelon beside Gaza, the other near Lebanon. A thing to know about jetties is, the longshore drift deposits sand on the upstream side and erosion scours the downstream side. Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection estimates that Israel will lose a 50 meter wide swath of Zikkim beach for a kilometer on the Israeli side of the jetty.

Israel is also building an underground barrier sixty kilometer (40 mile) long, a meter thick, up to 100 meters deep, the length of its boder with Gaza. Adding insult to injury, Israel pulls materials for its segregation barriers from quarries in the occupied West Bank.

Gaza’s water resources are:

Surface Water:
Israel has blockaded Gaza on all sides for more than a decade. Today two million Christian and Muslim Palestinians are crammed into an area 140.9 square miles, the same size as Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. or Bakersfield, California. But it’s worse than that. Seventeen percent of the land area inside the perimeter bordering Israel is off-limits and monitored by Israeli gunners who shoot Palestinians trying to farm there on a regular basis. Without that 17 percent (which comprises 35 percent of Gaza’s agricultural lands) the actual living space is about the size of Athens, Georgia.

Lakes: none
Rivers: none
Ocean Coastline: 22 miles. Officially it’s about 25 miles but Israel’s blockade cuts off 1.5 miles at the north end of shore and 1 mile at the south end. Israeli gunners routinely shoot at Palestinians who enter those areas. These are among the most sewage contaminated miles of seas/beaches on earth.
Average rainfall: Gaza has an annual long-term rainfall average of 327 millimeters (12.9 inches) similar to Pecos County, Texas.

Gaza is completely dependent on one aquifer: The Gaza Coastal Aquifer (GCA).
1) Estimated sustainable yield of GCA is 55-60mcm/year.
2) With no other options, Palestinians are pulling out water at an unsustainable rate of about 185 mcm. Of that, 102 mcm goes for domestic use and 83 mcm for agriculture.
3) Over 97 percent of Gaza water doesn’t meet World Heath Organization water quality standards. This is the primary reason that experts, including those at the UN, have declared unlivable.
4) Israel has drilled deep wells along the Gaza border, and in the Negev it has built a system of reservoirs with backing from the Jewish National Fund, as well as hundreds of limans (small earthen catchment dams planted with trees to hold water) along the wadis to impound water that formerly flowed to west into Gaza where that water once replenished the Coastal Aquifer.
5) There are 117 small, local reverse-osmosis outlets in Gaza that purify ground water and sell it to locals at high prices for drinking and cooking. These facilities produce about 2.8 mcm of potable water per year. Of necessity Palestinians also buy some water from the National Israeli water company, Mekorot. For the West Bank this amount is around 52 mcm/year and for Gaza between 5 and 10 mcm/year. Mekorot can shut off water to Palestinians without warning and without giving a reason.

Gaza Water Quality
Ground water levels are dropping, especially in southern Gaza where the ground water level is now 18 meters (60 feet) below sea level. This causes salt water intrusions. Gaza chlorine is between 100 and 2,400 mg/l. In places Gaza groundwater is so polluted by sewage and salt that it kills plants.

Construction materials to improve water infrastructure are among the hundreds of items Israel doesn’t allow into Gaza. When Israel launches major attacks on Gaza the first targets are sewage treatment plants, water and sewer pipes underground, and the power plant that runs the sewage plant. When Israelis aren’t attacking they routinely cut off power to Gaza so the sewage treatment plant can’t run even in peace. Electricity might run two hours per day. Or it might be off all day. As a result, thousands of metric tons of raw sewage contaminates the ground water or runs directly into the Mediterranean every day.

Gaza wadis originate to the east of Gaza in Israel. In addition to wells and limans, the Israelis have built a series of reservoirs to impound Gaza bound water for irrigation. The result is, except in heavy rain years, the Palestinians don’t get the runoff because the water doesn’t reach the Coastal aquifer under Gaza. On heavy rain years Palestinians accuse Israelis of opening dams to make flooding in Gaza worse. Israel denies this and Israelis often claim Israel doesn’t have any dams, which is odd because the Jewish National Fund website boasts—with photos—of building of a series of large (for that place) dams east of Gaza. Alon Tal put the number of reservoirs at 178, “across the country’s rain gradient with most in semi arid and hyper arid regions.”

Israeli seizures of Lebanese water :
At the same time Israelis are intercepting water headed for Palestinian aquifers they consider water in neighboring countries to belong to the Jewish state. Israel has gone so far as threatening war on Lebanon when that country used its own water inside its own borders. In 2002, when the Lebanese built a small pump station to bring Lebanese water from the Hazbani river to two drought-stricken Lebanese villages, Israel’s Ariel Sharon claimed the act was ‘causus belli,’ cause for war. The Israelis subsequently destroyed the pump station when they invaded southern Lebanon. Then in sublime hypocrisy they set up pumps on the Lebanese side to pump water towards Lake Kinneret in Israel.
The Litani River, which flows entirely inside Lebanon, has been a Zionist grail since long before Israel was founded. Back in 1919 when Chiam Weizman petitioned the Paris Peace Conference to give the Litani to the future state of Israel he wrote Lloyd George,

“The whole economic future of Palestine is dependent upon its water supply for irrigation and for electric power, and the water supply must mainly be derived from the slopes of Mount Hermon, from the headwaters of the Jordan, and from the Litani River.”

Israel didn’t get the Litani back then, but it has steadily expanded its occupation north towards where the water is. Among other resources, it has seized the Jordan headwaters, Huleh valley, and the Golan Heights (considered a stepping stone to taking the Litani). In January of 1982 Dr. Thomas Stauffer, with his prodigious understanding of Middle East politics, water, and energy, wrote a few cogent, prescient pages for the Christian Science Monitor outlining what Israel’s water crisis at that time was likely to mean for West Bank Palestinians, Syria, Jordan, and especially for Lebanon’s Litani River watershed. Six months later Israel invaded Lebanon.
It’s not for nothing that Israel invaded Lebanon five times between 1978 and 2006 and is threatening to do it again. The moral world tends to view those attacks in terms of the fact that most of casualties were innocent Lebanese civilians but the numbers of displaced Lebanese may be a more telling story. Here are the attacks, all initiated by Israel into Lebanon, with their Israeli names:
1) 1978 ‘Operation Litani’—they were obvious in their intentions back then)—resulted in up to 250,000 Lebanese refugees.
2)1982-85 ‘Operation Peace for Galilee’ left 400,000 homeless, and after Israel withdrew from the attack 850,000 Lebanese Arab Christians, who had backed the Zionists, left Lebanon.
3) 1993 ‘Operation Accountability’ a week long July attack displaced 300,000,
4) 1996, ‘Operation Grapes of Wrath’ April-16 days, up to 500,000 displaced.
5) Summer 2006 Second Lebanon War, 32 days, up to a million refugees.

Israel’s 2006 Lebanon invasion was the catalyst for international efforts to ban cluster bombs. Cluster bombs are canisters full of bomblets. The canister explodes above the ground spraying bomblets over a wide area to maximize casualties. A few days before the 2006 cease fire, when Israel knew the shooting was about to stop, they fired over a million cluster bombs into Arab towns, farms and civilian infrastructure. As many as 40 percent of the bomblets didn’t go off—and the Israelis knew they wouldn’t. Those bomblets still carpet the landscape acting as landmines today, occasionally detonating to kill or maim the unfortunate farmer or child who disturbs one. Israel now makes its own cluster bombs and launchers.

Why would the Jewish state do such a thing to southern Lebanon’s civilian communities knowing the invasion was over? There was no military target and they knew they’d be accused of war crimes. Some chalk it up to Israel’s pathological hatred of Arabs, and maybe that’s all there is to it, but my own impression is that the state of Israel is trying to depopulate southern Lebanon to reduce the amount of water southern Lebanon uses, some of which flows towards Israel in streams or underground, and also to lessen resistance against Israel’s next attempt to seize the Litani. Lebanese farmers now have the option of not working their fields and going broke, or risking being blown up, or moving out. Will Israel attack Lebanon again? Yes. In 2015 Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced that Israel’s next attack on Lebanon would target children. He said, “We are going to hurt Lebanese civilians, to include children of the family.”

Israeli seizures of Syrian Water:
Golan Heights:
When Israel started the Six Day war in 1967 a primary objective was to seize the Golan Heights. Water resources there include: springs, headwater streams of the Jordan river, and an ancient aquifer deep underground. Israeli leaders say Israel will never relinquish these occupied water resources.

Golan Heights aquifer:
The Shamir drilling project, bankrolled by the Jewish National Fund, on the Golan Heights is tapping a 5,000 year old aquifer that has an estimated volume 2.5 billion cubic meters. On a mountainside above the Huleh Valley Israel has drilled three holes each 1.5 km deep to pull up a hot (117 degrees F) mineral brine that is ‘highly corrosive.’ The brine is cooled and settled in a surface reservoir before being used for irrigation.
Golan Heights water threatened by oil drilling:
In 2015 The Economist reported that an Israeli-American company, Genie Oil believes there’s an oil pocket under the Golan that may contain billions of barrels. “The president of Genie’s Israeli subsidiary is Effie Eitam, a Golan settler and a former general who is close to the prime minister.” On the company’s American side, the advisory board in 2015 included Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch, and former Clinton appointees Larry Summers, Bill Richardson and James Woolsey. Environmentalists point out that drilling for oil there could contaminate Golan’s fresh water and/or Lake Kinneret. And there’s also the matter of every country in the world except Israel recognizing that under international law the land still belongs to Syria.

Yarmouk river: It’s no secret that Israel has been arming and providing other support to ‘rebels’ in Syria for years. Even the Israeli newspapers report on it. There’s ample speculation about motives but one may be water. It turns out that millions fleeing Syria’s terrible war is a benefit to Israel. Scientists using satellite imaging technology analyzed changes in Syrian agricultural lands and reservoir levels. They said, “we found that there was a 47 percent decrease in irrigated land in southern Syria caused by the recent mass migration of refugees that started in 2013.” Less irrigation means more Yarmouk water will reach the Jordan River. The Kingdom of Jordan will also get more Yarmouk water but, as they’ve absorbed hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, they won’t come out ahead, water wise.

In 1964, after Israel had unilaterally diverted Arab water from the Jordan river, the Arabs decided two could play at that game and began building a dam on the Yarmouk to divert the water before it got to Israel. Israel, apparently with U.S. government approval, bombed the project. This was a catalyst for the 1967 war.

In the mid-2000’s Ariel Sharon’s troops, the same bunch who claimed diverting water was cause for war, were found to be diverting Syria-bound water from Golan Heights springs towards Israel. In the past fifty years while Israel has controlled the Golan they have ethnically cleansed most of the Druze population who lived in the area. Israel has announced plans to add three hundred thousand [Jewish] people to Northern Israel over the next decade.

Jordan river headwater streams:
Israeli farmers north of Lake Kinneret impound the Dan, Hatzbani, and Banias streams for irrigation and/or fish farms during the long hot summers, depleting the Jordan River downstream environments. (see pg. 17)

Israel seizures of Jordanian water:
“In the culture of the Bedouin, the nomads who have survived in these deserts for millennia, a man reserves the right to kill anyone who steals or damages his water supply.” Lead sentence of Irene Prusher’s 1999 Guardian article about Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel planned to renege on its 1994 water treaty with Jordan.
Jordanian farmers have long accused the Jewish state of stealing their water from the Jordan river and its sources. For example:
Israel took over, and over-drafted, the Jordan River. The Israelis blew up Jordan’s Khaled Dam site in 1967 and destroyed Jordan’s only irrigation canal, the East Ghor, on the east side of the Jordan Valley. They subsequently threatened to blow up any attempts by Jordan to develop water infrastructure in that area. In the 1980’s Israel was pumping water from Narharia Pool where the Yarmouk meets the Jordan River, to Galilee, Tel Aviv and the Negev desert.

In 2009 Israel was caught dumping sewage and petroleum into the Jordan’s main tributary, the Yarmouk river. The mess forced closure of Jordan’s King Abdullah canal which supplies a third of that country’s drinking water. Under pressure, Israel agreed to pump Lake Kinneret water to Jordan until the pollution dissipated. As we’ll see in the next section, Lake Kinneret water may no longer be an option for such reparations in a few years.

In 2012 Jordanian farmers pointed out a ten-inch diameter Israeli pipe in the Jordan river which, they said, was being used to pump the water to purification plants and from there the cleaner water went to irrigate Israeli crops in OPT colonies while the waste was dumped back into the Jordan river, making pollution even worse. Israel denies they’re stealing the water and claims they’re merely improving water quality.

What to call Israel’s water policy:
Zionists call the State of Israel, “A water superpower.” South Africa’s Water and Sanitation Minister, Nomvula Mokonyame, spoke for millions when she called the State of Israel, “…the world’s leading practitioner of water apartheid.” There are endless references online for both terms in connection with Israel whose leadership comes unglued at apartheid accusations in any arena and vociferously denies them.  Still, the South Africans know a little about apartheid and they’re not shy about pointing out that pictures of Israel making the desert bloom don’t show dried up and barren Palestinian springs and lands just outside the frame. Israel’s water self-assessment and international status in the media, outshine reality because Israel doesn’t apply its water miracles to five million Arabs in the occupied territories, and ignores water strapped Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Include those, as Israel would be forced to do by agreeing to a one-state solution, and its ranking in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) would bottom out on every level. ‘Start Up Nation’ would become, ‘Third World Nation’ overnight.

*Footnote: West Bank Water Extractions are from October 2013 Status Report of Water Resources in the Occupied State of Palestine by the Palestinian Water Authority. I’ve asked the PWA for current data and will update the post when it arrives. DC
Maximum Sustainable Water Yield of major West Bank Aquifers:
WMAB 362-400
NEAB 100-145
EAB 145-185
total 607-730 mcm/yr
Israel extracts between:
WMAB 340-520
NEAB 103
EAB 150
total 593-753 mcm/yr
Palestine extracts about:
EAB 53
total 104 mcm/yr
Approximate total of extractions of Israel plus the Palestinians:
WMBA 368-548
NEAB 126
EAB 203
total 697-877 mcm/yr

(*Graphic at top by artist Kari Dunn

Recogniton 3: Occupied Water: Selected Sources

For up to date stories about ongoing family and village water seizures see:
Maan News Agency A gritty state-of-the-occupation gazette from the West Bank and Gaza. To understand Palestine’s everyday water struggle at gut-level you owe it to yourself to look these guys up every day for a week or so. Along with who was arrested, injured, shot, tear gassed, blown-up, buried in the rubble or had their olive trees cut down and/or their house demolished, there are stories about springs and wells being fouled or taken over by Israeli colonists. Of water tanks being shot full of holes. Of locals being kicked out of springs they’ve used for centuries to water their animals. There are stories about water sources being drawn down by Israel. A village water pipe bulldozed to punish protesters here. A village water supply shut off there. Stuff like that.
Haaretz Israel’s oldest newspaper is online. They sometimes publish excellent, in-depth stories about water seizures and water politics in the occupied territories.

March 1978, Israel’s General Sharon:As tough as ever Playboy Magazine, short interview by Ranan R. Lurie. “The world owes us…”
2013 Water for one people only: Discriminatory access and ‘Water-Apartheid” in the OPT Al-Haq(Al-Haq is a Palestinian human rights NGO) by Elizabeth Koek. 53 pages. Excellent, dense, but readable and satisfying paper. Includes maps, water sources, Sharon about, “There’s a reason the settlements are built where they are.”
October 2013 Status Report of Water Resources in the Occupied State of Palestine. Palestinian Water Authority. Israeli and Palestinian water sources and extractions are from this report.
05.12.2011 Al Auja Spring, a Palestinian dried up source of life Jordan Valley Solidarity
In pre-Zionist Palestine Al Auja spring was a main water source for the Jordan Valley, expelling 1,750 cubic meters per hour of clean water. In 1972 the Zionists punched 2 wells beside t he spring. The water goes to Jewish colonies while the spring has dried up at the surface. Israel’s national water company Mekorot controls the water from these wells which it charges Palestinians exorbitant prices to buy.
11.21.2017 Israel’s settlements: 50 years of land theft explained Al Jazeera by Zena Tahhan. 600,000-750,000 Jewish colonists in West Bank.
Spring 2005 Return of Palestinian water rights if not land: A proposal Middle East Policy Council vol 12 #1. by Harald Fredrickson Has Weizman’s Litani quote. for more about early 1900’s Zionist designs on Palestinian watersheds in Lebanon see also; Spring 2011 Unforgettable Litani: The Litani River in Zionist and Israeli water strategy 1881-1956 by Anders Grini Hamri, University of Oslo, Department of Archaeology, Conservation, and History. Master’s Thesis.
1944 Palestine Land of Promise Victor Golancz, LTD, London by Walter Clay Lowdermilk pg. 36. 291 cubic feet per second flow.
08.25.2006 Seeking sustainability: Israeli’s evolving water management strategy. Science Magazineby Alon Tal. “Starting in the 1980’s, spearheaded by the Jewish National Fund, a network of 178 reservoirs was established across the country’s rain gradient with most located in semi arid and hyper arid regions. The system currently collects 123 mcm/year.”
[date missing] Israel’s chronic water problem. Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The total average annual potential of renewable water amounts to some 1,800 mcm of which about 95% is already exploited and used for domestic consumption and irrigation.”
01.20.1982 Israel’s water needs may erode path to peace in region the Christian Science Monitor by Thomas Stauffer. The late, great Dr. Thomas R. Stauffer. Nobody could put water, petroleum, economy, military, and politics together as an understandable whole like this man.
02.16.2014 Otherwise occupied// The Israeli ‘Watergate’ scandal: The facts about Palestinian water. Haaretz by Amira Haas. Haas is a fearless journalist. Everything she writes is worth reading.

There are hundreds of sad articles about water hardships deliberately caused by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories. Here are a few:
09.14.2011 West Bank villagers daily battle with Israel over water The Guardian by David Hearst
05.31.2016 Visualizing: The daily struggle to access water. BDS South Africa by the Jordan Valley Team. Highlights the parched Palestinian village of Al Hadidya.
06.21.2016 Israel admits cutting West Bank water supply, but blames Palestinian Authority Haaretzby Amira Haas. Israel cuts water to Salfit region and three villages near Nablus in mid-summer heat.
06.26.2016 Palestinian city parched after Israel cuts water supply. Haaretz by Amira Haas. Mekorot cut off water to Palestinian city of Salfit without warning. A man with 700 chickens and a vegetable garden had to sell as many chickens as he could for what he could get for them, the rest were dying or dead of thirst and his garden had withered.
09.07.2017 Israel to remove Palestinian villages sole water pipe Middle East Monitor This one in the village of Duma in the West Bank.
09.06.2017 Israel reducing water supply to Palestinians in Jordan Valley Middle East Monitor.
07.26.2018 Israel destroys water pipeline in Palestinian village Middle East Monitor Israeli occupation troops wreck community’s drinking water pipe and builds road across Palestinian land in West Bank.

Syrian Water:
02.13.2017 How the Syrian refugee crisis affected land use and shared transboundry fresh water resources. Brookings by Jim Yoon, Mark Muller and Steve Gorelick. “since 2013 hundreds of thousands have fled the Syrian civil war. At the same time there was an “unexpected, rapid increase in the flow of the Yarmouk river—from Syria to the Al-Wehda reservoir on the Syria-Jordan border.” The farmers fled, leaving fields fallow. With no one to pump water for irrigation there was more water in the Yarmouk. The study found a 47 percent decrease in irrigated land in southern Syria since 2013. “ A comparative difference analysis revealed a 49 percent decrease in reservoir storage for the 2013-2015 refugee migration period compared with the reservoir storage decrease in the Golan Heights where no detectable change was found during the same period.”(the authors analyzed satellite data of reservoirs).
12.16.2014 The Shamir Drilling Project Keren Keymeth LeIsrael, Jewish National Fund website. [This page says the water comes up at a temperature of 87 C . That would be 188 degrees Fahrenheit. Another page on the website, KKL-JNF Innovations in Water Conservation Technologies, offers a shorter description of Shamir but says the water temperature is 47 C.
11.07.2015 Black Gold under the Golan The Economist
03.08.2018 Israel steps up oil drilling in Golan The Electronic Intifada by Charlotte Silver.
07.08.2007 Israel pumping Syria water to Kinneret—experts Ynet News by Amir Ben-David. Israel is pumping water that would have flowed to Syria from springs in the Golan Heights to Lake Kinneret. Israel seized the Golan Heights in 1967 and says it will never give them back.
04.17.2016 Golan Heights forever Israeli Netanyahu says BBC News

Lebanese water:
July-August, 1983 Water and Israel’s occupation strategy MERIP vol.13. No 116. by Joe Stork. This fine, important article explores Israeli efforts to get the Litani River and other water from Lebanon. Detailed, rigorous, readable work.
03.29.2001 Over Israeli objections, Lebanon opens pumping station on river LA Times/Reuters In 1964 Syria was going to divert the Banias river away from the Jordan river (and Israel) and towards the Yarmouk river. Lebanon was going to build a canal from the Hasbani to the Banias in a project that would divert 20 to 30 mcm/year from the Jordan. Israel attacked the workers with tanks and jet planes to stop the diversion. In 2001/2 Lebanon installed two small water projects along the Hasbani to supply water to two villages impacted by drought. Ariel Sharon called that cause for war. Israel subsequently invaded Lebanon and destroyed the pump stations during the second Lebanon war.
09.10.2002 Israel warns of war over water BBC Ariel Sharon says Lebanon diverting a small amount of water from Lebanon’s Hasbani river to a drought stricken village is cause for war.
Timelines of the five Israeli invasions of Lebanon are from Wikipedia
09.12.2006 IDF commander: we fired more an a million cluster bombs in Lebanon Haaretz by Meron Rappaport.

Jordanian Water:
03.15.1999 Drought-hit Israel cuts water supply to Jordan The Guardian by Ilene Prusher
04.20.2009 Israel to compensate Jordan for polluted water with Sea of Galilee Water Green Prophet by Rachael Bergstein.
08.11.2012 Jordanian farmers: Israel is stealing our water. The Times of Israel by Elhanan Miller. Jordan Valley Farmers Union says Israel installed a 10 inch pipe in the Jordan river, is pumping the water to purification plants, pumping the cleaner water to Israeli crops the OPT and dumping the more concentrated waste water back into the Jordan. Israel claims they are cleaning up the river.
Update: 09.17.2018 Israel is world’s leading practitioner of water apartheid Electronic Intifada by Adri Niewwhof.

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