Schneider Aviel

MembersWATER: Catalyst for War, or Foundation of Peace?

Part II

Photo: Public domain

Israel’s annual water consumption amounts to 580 billion gallons (2.2 billion cubic meters), of which 210,000 million (800 million) goes to household use, and 290 billion (1.1 billion) is used in agriculture and industry. Half of the water is drinking water. Israel is a world leader in water efficiency, but despite all its technology, the Jewish state remains highly dependent on rain. The first people to suffer from lack of rain are the farmers. If there is a national water shortage, it’s the farmers’ that gets cut first.

Water consumption in Israel and in the Palestinian areas is always a matter of politics. The Palestinians say that most of the rain in the Holy Land falls on the mountain range of Judea and Samaria. Thus, they claim ownership of the water. However, the rain seeps away, it flows underground and springs up at the foot of these mountains inside Israel Proper. The Palestinians see this as theft.

Within Israel, there are three main natural sources of fresh water. The first is the Sea of Galilee, which provides about 30 percent of Israel’s water needs,...

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