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Harper’s Magazine December 2011: Basic Facts on Settlement vs. Palestinian Water Use

Ben Ehrenreich’s article in the December 2011 issue of Harper’s provides a massive critical analysis of the war over water in Israel/Palestine.

“West Bank Palestinians consume an average of fifty liters of water per day.  Fill your bathtub about a third full and try using that water to drink, cook, and flush your toilet, and to wash yourself, your clothes, your dishes, and (if there’s any to spare) your floors.  That’s precisely half the amount the World Health Organization has determined as necessary to guarantee basic health and sanitation, and a quarter the quantity used by the average Israeli.  In the poorest and driest parts of the West Bank, the figure drops to ten liters per day, an amount comparable, according to a 2009 World Bank report, “to that of refugee camps in Congo or Sudan.”

“The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem determined that settlements use three times as much water as households inside Israel, and that in 2008 the 9,354 settlers in the Jordan Valley alone consumed one third as much water as was allotted to all 2.4 million Palestinians in the West Bank.  For comparison, Americans consume about 600 liters each day; Germans, 126.”

Here’s the article in its entirety: Harper’s “Drip, Jordan”