The Water Authority provides information about water sold by Israel to the Gaza Strip
On January 18, 2016, Gisha field a Freedom of Information Application (Hebrew) to the Israeli Water Authority with respect to issues related to the supply of water from Israel to the Gaza Strip.
On March 13, 2016, a partial response was received from the Water Authority (Hebrew), indicating that Israel presently allows the transfer of 10 million cubic meters (mcm) of water to Gaza per year. Of this quantity, five mcm is supplied through two older water pipes known as “Bani Suheila” and “Birket Sa’id”, and five additional mcm through the new pipe located in the vicinity of Nahal Oz, which became operational in March 2015. However, according to the Water Authority, the actual amount of water delivered through these pipes is, in fact, smaller, because of reception capacity inside the Gaza Strip, or infrastructure malfunctions. Water Authority figures on the amount of water actually delivered to Gaza over the past seven years match the figures provided by Mekorot, the Israeli national water company.
The Water Authority confirmed that Israel sells the water to the Gaza Strip at a rate of 2.57 ILS per cubic meter supplied through the older pipes, and 3.54 per cubic meter supplied through the Nahal Oz pipe. The rates were last adjusted on October 16, 2014, pursuant to a pricing protocol the Palestinian Authority and Israel signed through the joint water committee. According to the response, payment for the water sold to Gaza is collected by the Water Authority on a monthly basis.
The Water Authority says it is bound by the water treaties signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and should it be required to increase supply to Gaza, it would make the necessary preparations. As stated, at present, there is approval for 10 mcm yearly, but according to a masterplan drafted by the Palestinians with the help of international agencies, Israel is expected to supply 20 mcm of water per annum in the future. As part of this plan, the Gaza Strip is expected to receive a total of 88 mcm of potable water per year from three different sources: 20 mcm from Israel, 55 mcm from a desalination plant to be built in Gaza with funding from donor countries and the World Bank, and 13 mcm of water supplied by three small desalination plants in Gaza: one has already been built, the second is under construction and the third is in planning. The Water Authority did not specify when this plan is expected to be implemented and when Israel would begin supplying Gaza with 20 mcm of water per year.
The Water Authority also stated that Israel does not implement projects related to water and sewage in the Gaza Strip and that it has not taken any special action concerning sewage treatment in the Gaza area.