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Mekorot Factsheet - Water Apartheid in Palestine

Mekorot Factsheet - Water Apartheid in Palestine

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Published by The Mossy Bank
West Bank water is controlled by Israel, but Palestinians are allowed a quota far less than that consumed by Israelis. Includes visual map of water inequity in Israel and Palestine with World Health Organization data. Discusses Israeli water company Mekorot.
West Bank water is controlled by Israel, but Palestinians are allowed a quota far less than that consumed by Israelis. Includes visual map of water inequity in Israel and Palestine with World Health Organization data. Discusses Israeli water company Mekorot.

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Published by: The Mossy Bank on Jul 10, 2013
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07/10/2013

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
Israel’swatercompanyMekorotNurturing
WaterApartheid
inPalestine
MekorotistheIsraelipublicwatercompanywhichprovides90%ofdrinkingwaterforIsraelicitizens.WatermanagementandsupplyiscontrolledbytheIsraelistateinsidetheGreenLineaswellasintheOPT.MekorotprovidesinfrastructureforwatersuppliesinthesettlementsandmanageswaterstolenfromPalestiniansintheoccupiedterritories.IntheNagab/NegevIsraelrefusestoacknowledgethe45villageswhere160,000PalestinianBedouinsliveandprohibitstheconstructionofwaternetworkstoprovidedrinkingwaterinthesevillages.Throughthedenialtoaccesstowaterandsanitation,MekorotcollaborateswiththestateofIsraelintheimplementationofaninstitutionalized“waterapartheid”,whichisacentralcomponentofIsrael’spoliciesofethniccleansingofPalestiniancommunitiesand,consideringthegraveimplicationsofthedenialtoaccessofwater,maybeinvolvedinthecrimeofpersecution.MekorotfurtherprofitsfromIsraelipolicies,suchasthesettlementsandtheWall,whichimplyalargerangeofhumanrightsviolations.MekorotimplementsaseriesofIsraeliviolationsofrightsincludedintheInternationalCovenantonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights(ICESCR),theInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights(ICCPR),theInternationalConventionontheEliminationofAllFormsofRacialDiscrimination,theUNConventionontheRightsoftheChild(CRC),andtheUNConventionontheEliminationofAllFormsofDiscriminationagainstWomen(CEDAW).TherighttowaterhasbeenrecognizedasacomponentoftherighttoanadequatestandardoflivingunderArticle11(1)oftheInternationalCovenantonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights(ICESCR).Therighttowaterisalsoprotectedunderotherinternationaltreatiesandisalsoessentialtotheenjoymentoftherightstohealth,adequatehousingandfood.Thehumanrighttowaterentitleseveryonetosufficient,safe,acceptable,physicallyaccessibleandaffordablewaterforpersonalanddomesticuses.
 
WaterapartheidmadebyMekorot
ManagingtheIsraeliwatersystem:
 
Mekorothasbeenresponsibleforwaterrightsviolationssincethe1950swhenitbuiltIsrael’snationalwatercarrier,whichisdivertingtheJordanRiverfromtheWestBankandJordantoserveIsraelicommunitiesalongthecoastandinthesoutherndesert
1
.AtthesametimeitdeprivesthePalestiniancommunityfromthepossibilityofaccesstoJordanRiverwater.
 
AtaspecialmeetingoftheKnessetFinanceCommitteetomarkthe75thanniversaryofthefoundingofMekorot,itsCEOShimonBen-Hamopredictedthat“alreadybythestartof2014Israelwillhaveenoughwatertoreplenish1.5millioncubicmetersinmissingreserves.”
2
AtthesametimeIsraelandMekorotaresystematicallydeprivingPalestinians-notonlyintheOPT-fromtheirrighttowaterandsanitation.
3
ManagingtheIsraeliwatertheftandapartheidintheOPT:
In1982theWestBankwaterinfrastructurecontrolledbytheIsraeliarmywashandedovertoMekorotbyamilitaryorder.
 
Mekorotoperatessome42wellsintheWestBank,mainlyintheJordanValleyregion,whichmostlysupplytheIsraelisettlements.
4
ThisallowsMekorottoprofitfromthesettlementsandtherelatedhumanrightsviolations.MekorotprofitsaswellfromtheapartheidWallanditswellsnowbehindtheApartheidWall,whichbarsPalestiniansaccesstotheirownwellsandallowsMekorotexclusivebenefitoftheundergroundwaterresources.
 
MekorotsystematicallydiscriminatesagainstPalestinians:PalestinianconsumptionintheOPTisabout70litresadayperperson–wellbelowthe100litrespercapitadailyrecommendedbytheWorldHealthOrganization(WHO)–whereasIsraelidailypercapitaconsumption,atabout300litres,isaboutfourtimesasmuch.InsomeruralcommunitiesPalestinianssurviveonfarlessthaneventheaverage70litres,insomecasesbarely20litresperday,theminimumamountrecommendedbytheWHOforemergencysituationsresponse.
5
 
Inrecentyears,Palestinianshaveboughtsome50MCMwaterperyear.ThiswaterisextractedbyMekorotfromtheMountainAquiferandPalestiniansshouldbeabletoextractforthemselvesiftheywereallowedtodigandmaintaintheirownwells.MekorotinthiswayprofitsfromtheoverallsystemofhumanrightsviolationsinstalledbytheIsraelioccupation.
 
AccordingtotheWorldBank,“Thecosttotheeconomyofforegoneopportunityinirrigatedagricultureissignificant,withupperboundpreliminaryestimatesthatcouldbeashighas10%ofGDPand110,000jobs.
6

1
LifeSourcereport‘OurRighttoWater:TheHumanRighttoWaterinPalestine’(March2012)
2
http://www.blueplanetproject.net/index.php/news-mekorot-may-purchase-greek-public-water-utilities/;http://www.blueplanetproject.net/documents/RTW/RTW-Palestine-1.pdf 
3
https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/027/2009/en/e9892ce4-7fba-469b-96b9-c1e1084c620c/mde150272009en.pdf 
4
https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/027/2009/fr/e9892ce4-7fba-469b-96b9-c1e1084c620c/mde150272009en.pdf
5
http://wedc.lboro.ac.uk/resources/who_notes/WHO_TN_09_How_much_water_is_needed.pdf 
6
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWESTBANKGAZA/Resources/WaterRestrictionsReport18Apr2009.pdfandhttp://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWESTBANKGAZA/Resources/EconomicEffectsofRestrictedAccesstoLandintheWestBankOct.21.08.pdf
 
Mekorot’sparticipationinthesystematicdenialofaccesstowaterbyIsraeliauthoritiesisthereforeaswellseriouslyviolatingPalestiniantherighttoworkanddevelopment.Imagefrom:http://visualizingpalestine.org/infographic/wb-water
WhereMekorotOperates
Argentina
:In2010“theGovernoroftheProvinceofBuenosAiresannouncedthatatenderfortheconstructionofaregionalwatertreatmentplantinLaPlatawouldbeawardedaconsortium,ofwhichMekorotisapart”.Theprojectisstillongoingdespitethefactthat“thedealwithMekorotwillprovetobecostlyforArgentina.WaterspecialistshavestatedthattheundergroundwaterresourcesinBuenosAriesareexcellentandcheaperthantheMekorotproject,whichwilldrivethewaterbillof225thousandsresidentsinLaPlata,BerissoandEnsenadaupby33%.”
7
MekorotalsohasanotherprojectinRioNegro.
8

7
http://www.stopthewall.org/2010/12/28/campaign-against-mekorot-launched-argentina
8
http://www.lanacion.com.ar/922281-que-pasaand
http://www.bnamericas.com/news/waterandwaste/Israel's_Mekorot_eyes_desalination_plant_in_Rio_Negro

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