"Take ANY city in the world and cut it off from its hinterland and then try to organize "automonous" water supply within and for the city! No, city, I repeat, no city in the world would be able to survive." --C. Messerschmid to Visualizing Palestine
The Gaza Strip is in its sixth year of siege, in the twenty-first year of closure and the forty-sixth year of occupation. The Coastal Aquifer, shared with Israel is its only accessible source of water, polluted at ninety to ninety-five percent. Decades of (systematic) de-development and, since 2007, persisting restrictions on material and equipment entry means maintenance works are on hold. In 2008-2009, Israeli military attacks -- Operation Cast Lead -- aggravated the damage to wells along with other deliberate and wanton (Goldstone) human and infrastructural losses. Scarcity of water sources have resulted in the over-abstraction of water, accelerating natural brackish water inflows from the southeast (Negev) and seawater intrusions from the west (Mediterranean). Electricity cuts contribute to the pollution of water due to sewage interruptions on sewage treatment. Twenty-six percent of illnesses in the Gaza Strip are water related. Gaza Water Confined and Contaminated communicates the tip of the iceberg.
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[Image originally published by Visualizing Palestine.]