Only one in every 10 families in Gaza has access to reliable drinking water, said a report revealing worsening humanitarian conditions in the blockaded territory. The percentage of those who have access to reliable drinking water is 58 percent for urban areas, according to the report released by Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
Gaza's main water source contains 55 to 60 million cubic meters of water over the course of a year, but demand from Gaza's two million population exceeds 200 million cubic meters.
Gaza has long suffered severe water problems, with its aquifer contaminated by sewage, chemicals and seawater and the territory's three desalination plants unable to meet demand. In order to meeting their water-drinking needs, most citizens depend on imported, bottled water.
One solution has been buying more water from Israel, which has vast desalination capacities. But it took the Palestinians 20 years of negotiation — from 1995 to 2015 — to secure the purchase of just five million more cubic meters.
Already squeezed by the more than decade-long Israeli blockade, Gaza's economy has been further weakened by U.S. aid cuts and financial measures. Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has suffered under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade that has gutted its economy and deprived its inhabitants of many vital commodities, including food, fuel and medicine. In the long-embargoed area, the humanitarian situation continues to worsen every day.
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