Impact of Geopolitical Factors on Water Supply Management in Area C,South of Palestine

Hayat A A Attawna
حياة عوض عبدالعزيز العطاونة
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Al-Quds University
Water scarcity constitutes a major problem in Palestine due to population growth, rising living standards, climate change, and Israeli restrictions on water resources and sector development. There is particular urgency to address the water scarcity problems in Area C, one of the most water-deficit areas in the West Bank, Palestine. Most of the Palestinian communities in Area C are not connected to the water network because of the Israeli control and confiscation. As a result, water supply is limited to high-cost water tanks that can only meet basic humanitarian needs. This thesis examines the impact of geopolitical factors on local water management in the West Bank, focusing on Area C, and poses the question of whether these factors can be addressed as obstacles or opportunities for water management. To answer the research question, data was collected through document reviews, semi-structured interviews, and focus group meetings with representatives from the government, the private sector, and local and international non-governmental organizations. The collected data was analyzed using an analytical framework of contextual interdependencies and coding of data by using the Atlas.ti software. The results indicate that restrictions imposed by Israel in Area C, such as obstructing the implementation of projects, demolishing ongoing constructions, confiscating water tanks, and closing the roads to Palestinian communities, negatively impact water management, and have played a significant role in the reduction of support from some donors. On the other hand, there is no Palestinian official representation in Area C that could supervise water distribution and pricing. This results in a higher price of water in those areas, which depend on buying water from tankers. To overcome these constraints, non-governmental organizations use several coping strategies that address management, sustainability or the use of a certain technology. Finally, recommendations were made for all organizations involved in managing water in Palestine that should work together in a better way towards effective and sustainable management of water resources in Area C, and there should be integration in the functions and roles of the water sectors, both governmental and non-governmental organizations. These functions and roles should be represented by the Palestinian Water Authority