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Water Resources Management

, Volume 24, Issue 15, pp 4445–4467 | Cite as

A Financial, Environmental and Social Evaluation of Domestic Water Management Options in the West Bank, Palestine

  • Dima W. NazerEmail author
  • Maarten A. Siebel
  • Pieter Van der Zaag
  • Ziad Mimi
  • Huub J. Gijzen
Open Access
Article

Abstract

Water is one of the most valuable natural resources in the West Bank, Palestine. Due to its limited availability, it is a resource that needs particular protection. Although agriculture consumes most of the water (70%) in the West Bank, the domestic water supply is strategically not less important. It is the aim of this study to evaluate domestic water management options suitable for Palestinian conditions that contribute to achieving water sufficiency in the domestic water use in the house of tomorrow. A number of options were evaluated economically, environmentally and socially using the concept of life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). Results of the study showed that by introducing a combination of domestic water management options, a substantial decrease in the water consumption of more than 50% can be achieved, thereby reducing the pressure on the scarce water resources. The annual environmental impact of the in-house water use can be reduced in the range of 8%, when using low-flow shower head to 38% when using rainwater harvesting systems. Some of the options (faucet aerators, low-flow shower heads and dual flush toilets) were found to be financially attractive with a pay back period of less than their expected lives, others (rainwater harvesting, graywater reuse and dry toilets) were found to be financially unattractive because of the high investment. In the social context, it was found that introducing such options can improve the quality of life of those not having enough water. There is already a popular willingness to take part in water conservation in the domestic sector in the West Bank. The strongest driving force for using water conservation measures is the awareness that water is a scarce resource. It was concluded that, theoretically, the house of tomorrow can be largely independent in terms of water and sanitation. Education and awareness campaigns in the context of water management with a focus on non-traditional options are key to achieve such a house.

Keywords

Environmental impact Financial assessment House-hold water management Social impact assessment Water reuse Water scarcity West Bank 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dima W. Nazer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maarten A. Siebel
    • 2
  • Pieter Van der Zaag
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ziad Mimi
    • 4
  • Huub J. Gijzen
    • 5
  1. 1.Palestine Technical College—ArroubHebronPalestine
  2. 2.UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water EducationDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Water Resources SectionDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Institute of Environmental and Water StudiesBirzeit UniversityRamallahPalestine
  5. 5.UNESCO Jakarta OfficeRegional Bureau for Science for Asia and PacificJakartaIndonesia

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