Irrigation

Not Enough Water for Farmers

Drier seasons and political obstacles to water access mean that Palestinian farming families face major challenges to their way of life and their livelihoods.

Agriculture uses nearly half of the total available water for Palestinians and, during the summer, West Bank farmers experience regular cuts in water service. In besieged Gaza, farming families suffering from poverty and food insecurity struggle to set up reliable irrigation systems that can make their small plots of land productive.

Irrigating Farms in Palestine

ANERA has for decades helped Palestinian farmers access and wisely use the water that is available to them. From simple rainwater collection systems to sophisticated networks, ANERA works with farmers and agricultural cooperatives to set up efficient and sustainable solutions for irrigating farms in Palestine.

In the Jenin area of the West Bank, where agriculture has been a way of life for centuries, farmers now have access to a new source of water for irrigating crops: treated wastewater. ANERA’s first-of-its-kind wastewater storage and distribution system makes use of a valuable resource that was being thrown away as crops were dying. Now, an irrigation system daily pumps nearly two million gallons of treated wastewater to 240 farms. These farms can grow high value crops, like fruit trees and alfalfa for animals, and avoid irrigating with precious drinking water.

In Gaza, ANERA helps family farms become self-sufficient by making the best use of their limited land and water resources. ANERA has built hundreds of greenhouses and restored 120 acres of agricultural fields in Gaza. At each small farm, agricultural specialists install water tanks as well as drip irrigation systems connected to nearby water sources. They then train families on watering, composting and planting techniques that can improve and maintain production.

In 2016 alone, ANERA helped Palestinian farmers irrigate 1,730 acres of farmland with treated wastewater.

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ON-THE-GROUND REPORT

From drier seasons to political obstacles, Palestinian farmers face daily challenges to their way of life, but they are responding with resilience and creativity.