"As Gaza Heads for Water Crisis, Desalination Seen Key"

"A tiny wedge of land jammed between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean sea, the Gaza Strip is heading inexorably into a water crisis that the United Nations says could make the Palestinian enclave unliveable in just a few years."

"With 90-95 percent of the territory's only aquifer contaminated by sewage, chemicals and seawater, neighborhood desalination facilities and their public taps are a lifesaver for some of Gaza's 1.6 million residents.

But these small-scale projects provide water for only about 20 percent of the population, forcing many more residents in the impoverished Gaza Strip to buy bottled water at a premium.

'There is a crisis. There is a serious deficit in the water resources in Gaza and there is a serious deterioration in the water quality,' said Rebhi El Sheikh, deputy chairman of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA)."

Nidal al-Mughrabi reports for Reuters June 27, 2013.

Source: Reuters, 06/27/2013