Contracting party: IHE Delft Institute
Funded By: The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Partner Organization: IHE Delft Institute, Palestinian Water Authority, ARIJ, House of Water and Environment (HWE), Wadi Zomer Joint Service Council for Wastewater Services(WZJSC), and Wageningen University Department of Environmental Science (WU-DES)
Starting Date: November 2022
Ending Date: December 2025

The absence of effective control over domestic and industrial pollution sources in Wadi Zomer poses a significant threat to public health and has adverse consequences for the Western Mountain Aquifer. Nearby residents have reported experiencing unpleasant odors emanating from the Wadi, while health risks persist, and local water supplies are at risk. The Wadi contains untreated industrial and domestic wastewater, illegally discarded wastewater and solid waste from the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Tulkarm, as well as undisclosed amounts of untreated wastewater from Israeli settlements. Furthermore, the water from the Wadi is treated at an Israeli treatment plant located in the Emek Hefer Regional Council. The costs associated with this treatment, amounting to 5 million Euros annually, are unilaterally deducted by the Israelis from Palestinian taxes, as stipulated in the Paris Accord signed between both sides in 1996. The high treatment cost per cubic meter of water is due to the substantial pollution load originating from industries. The lack of detailed specifications in the billing process from Israeli institutions contributes to a lack of accountability for the involved Israeli institutions and polluters, thereby making enforcement challenging.

The overarching objective of the project is to develop an inclusive master plan for managing industrial wastewater and enhance the governance and capacity of regional Palestinian authorities to implement effective pollution control measures. This plan aims to safeguard the shared transboundary water resources by ensuring sound managerial and technical practices.