It doesn't rain here all summer long. We probably won't have any significant rain again until late October, or even November. In the spring we have a lush growth of wild flowers as most wild plants rush to finish their growing season before the heat of summer and lack of water kills them off. By now, the beginning of July, the fields are brown and dry.
Every year we have water shortages in the summer, but this year seems worse than usual. Do you see the black barrels on the roof in the background of this picture?
According to the World Health Organization, the per capita minimal amount of water needed for household and urban needs is one hundred liters a day. Due to the chronic water shortage, water consumption in the northern West Bank has dropped to one-third this amount. In Tubas, per capita consumption is 30 liters; in Jenin, it is 38 liters. In Nablus and the Southern Hebron Hills, the figure is slightly higher than fifty liters a day.
Average per capita consumption throughout the West Bank is 66 liters, two-thirds of the minimal amount needed according to the WHO. These figures include water for livestock, meaning that the water consumed for personal use is even less.
In comparison, average daily water consumption in Israeli cities is 235 liters, and 214 liters in local councils, 3.5 times higher than Palestinian consumption in the West Bank.
I used to tell my kids when we were growing up that we have just enough water to make our lives reasonably comfortable, but not so much that we forget to be grateful for it.