What’s going on with Israel’s Aquifers?
The current water deficit has led to severe deterioration of potable aquifer water resources that have either become brackish and/or polluted. The cause of this has been the increase in the demand for water for domestic uses due to the population growth and the rising standard for living in Israel, as well as the need to supply water according to international undertakings which has led to over-utilization of renewable water sources.
Another one of Israel’s main water sources for the National Water Carrier is the West Bank Mountain Aquifer, which supplies about 1/3 of Carrier water. Aquifers serve as natural, underground water storage facilities.
The West Bank Mountain Aquifer consists of three sub-basins that partially cross the West Bank separation line. The aquifer also provides West Bank Palestinians with 80% of their total water.
Israel’s other water supply, the Crystal Plain Aquifer, is located in the coastal plain between Mount Carmel and Rafah in the Gaza Strip, and extends under the irrigation. Unfortunately mismanagement has damaged this aquifer by allowing salt, nitrates, and seawater to infiltrate it. At least 20% of the aquifer is contaminated and when this happens, the damage is usually irreversible.