Athens, 6 October 2021

Palestinian communities are significantly affected by water scarcity and have one of the lowest water resources per capita in the Middle East. Water-stress is linked to the lack of adequate infrastructure, physical shortages and is exacerbated by accessibility, quality, and affordability issues in a very difficult political scene. With water demand exceeding the available supply for all uses, this vital resource must be valued properly and safeguarded effectively for the benefit of the community.

With an eye towards improving the management of scarce water resources and following the request of the Palestine Authority, the EU funded Water and Environment Support project (WES) developed in Palestine an activity for the authorities and water experts to design actions to improve water billing and fees’ collection rates.

During the online kick-off meeting of the WES activity in Palestine, organised on the 27th of September 2021, Ms Majeda ALAWNEH Director of Water Quality Department, Palestinian Water Authority, underlined the importance of improving the collection rates and therefore reducing non-revenue water (NRW) rates for all water users.

Professor Michael Scoullos, WES Team Leader, expressed his optimism regarding the cooperation between WES project and the Palestinian Water Authority on this crucial issue. As he pointed out, the physical part of the water supply is also closely linked to appropriate billing, the ability of utilities to efficiently collect fees and the reduction of customers debts in order to secure the necessary resources to maintain the networks etc., and turn the current vicious cycle into a virtuous one.

Based on sound scientific data and information gathered by WES water experts, a set of actions will now be developed and implemented in a participatory manner, to assist the Palestinian Water Authority and related stakeholders in improving water resource management. This will result in long-term planning, which is expected to positively affect the investment plans and allocation of financial resources from the international donor community to the water sector for further improving access to safe drinking water.