Palestinian residents use water from tanker in Khirbet a-Duqaiqah, South Hebron Hills, 19 August 2012. Photo: Nasser Nawaj'ah, B'Tselem.
Water tanker in Bedouin community south of settlement of Mishor Adumim. Photo: 'Ammar 'Awad, Reuters, 19 August 2009
As a result of the Civil Administration’s policy, water consumption in some West Bank Palestinian communities is significantly lower than the 100 liters per person per day recommended by the World Health Organization. In the southern West Bank, some 42 communities consume less than 60 liters of water per person, per day, while herding communities in the northern Jordan Valley consume only about 20 liters per person, per day. For the sake of comparison, average domestic water consumption in Israel is between 100 and 230 liters per person, per day. Settlements are allocated higher amounts: for example, the settlements of Ro’i and Beqa’ot in the Jordan Valley are allocated more than 460 liters of water person, per day, for household use only – at least 23 times the water consumption per person, per day, in the nearby Palestinian village of al-Hadidiya.
The Civil Administration also takes action to disrupt water supply the residents obtain from alternate sources: Between 2009 and 2012, the Civil Administration destroyed 90 cisterns, 61 wells and 17 reservoirs belonging to Palestinians in Area C. At the same time, it avoids maintaining the natural water resources used by Palestinians and issues demolition orders when residents tend to the matter themselves, such as by placing fences around springs.
In the Jordan Valley, residents who earn their living as shepherds roam with their flocks through vast grazing areas that have no water. To water their animals, they generally transport large containers of water to the grazing areas. Testimony given to B’Tselem shows that over the past few summers, the Civil Administration has confiscated these types of water containers, each of which costs nearly NIS 300, alleging that they were placed in firing zones. Residents have reported that official Israeli representatives dumped the contents of the containers prior to removing them.
International aid organizations endeavoring to promote these types of projects in Area C have told the World Bank that the Civil Administration is a major obstacle to their work. A number of projects that did obtain approval from the Palestinian Water Committee and the Joint Israeli‐Palestinian Water Committee were ultimately rejected – after numerous delays – by the Civil Administration. Sixteen projects for water infrastructure, approved by the Joint Committee more than a year earlier, were still awaiting Civil Administration approval in April 2013.