Water crisis in Samaria

Residents of four Samaria towns suffer irregular water supply, forced to carry drinking water in jugs up mountainside.

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Arutz Sheva Staff,

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Residents of the Samaria towns of Kedumim, Shavei Shomron, Yitzhar, and Barkan are currently suffering from an irregular water supply.

According to estimates, the deficit in the main reservoirs is currently between 15,000 and 20,000 cubic meters. This amount must be divided between both the Jewish and Arab residents of the area.

Fifteen containers of water are on their way to the four Jewish towns, but a long-term solution has not yet been found. Last year as well, Jewish residents of the Samaria and Binyamin regions suffered from a water shortage.

Some of the shortages were caused by Arab water theft, which is often used for illegal Arab farmland instead of for the thousands of acres of legal farms for which it was intended.

Last year, Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan involved National Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) and Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home). The two approved drilling a new well, "Ariel 1," which provides 5,000 cubic meters of water per day.

This significantly improved the situation, but did not completely solve the problem, since the relevant authorities did not quickly advance the creation of better regional infrastructure.

Construction of an additional major water pipeline is due to be completed within the next few weeks, but this will not solve the issue entirely since the pipeline will only be able to provide between 3,500 to 4,000 cubic meters per day.

"We cannot make peace with the fact that hundreds of families again found themselves without water," Dagan said. "These families are forced to drink water from bottles brought up the mountain. It's as if we're in the 40s and 50s.

"The government must do everything in its power to construct water pipelines which will provide water regularly to the hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens who live in the area, as well as to the local Arabs, who need the water as much as we do.

"There are four major projects in the works, but none of them are being advanced, and all have become stuck at one point in the other because of the relevant authorities. I call on the authorities to take responsibility and to provide us with a proper water supply, so that we will not have to drag jugs of water up the mountain."








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