UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analysis of water pricing and consumption variations within the occupied West Bank McIntyre, Graham


International disputes over access to water resources can act as a catalyst for conflict or cooperation amongst nations. In the case of Israel and the occupied West Bank, water conflict further exacerbates preexisting political tension, and yet a peaceful and equitable solution between these countries could spark further negotiation. Within this context, the Palestinian Hydrology Group conducted a water questionnaire amongst Palestinian households in the occupied West Bank in 2001. The aim of the PHG’s survey was to investigate which water management system would be the most suitable in terms of equity, cost-recovery, and long-term development of the resource. Ultimately the water pricing system that was recommended was an increasing block-tariff system, which prioritizes the delivery of necessary amounts of water used for basic needs amongst all users before further allocating water to other uses. However, most of the work conducted by the PHG was qualitative and based entirely on descriptive statistics. Analysis regarding the relationships between water pricing, water consumption, and water needs, and how these relationships change over different scales, was not present in the final report. The purpose of this thesis to continue the research conducted by the PHG by analyzing the water questionnaire database as a means to further advise and direct water services within the occupied West Bank. In order to discern relationships between seasonal patterns of water pricing and consumption, an in-depth analysis of that data was conducted. In addition, perceived water needs were also examined. This analysis was performed at a variety of scales, including amongst districts, average monthly income levels, and connection/non-connection to a water network. Results indicate that some districts in the occupied West Bank are comparatively under-serviced. The economically poor district of Jenin seems to be in greatest need of stabilized and equitable water resources, followed by Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah. It was also observed that those within lower income brackets bear a disproportionate share of pricing fluctuations and, not surprisingly, low consumption levels. Connection/non-connection to a water network indicates that not only is consumption amongst non-connected households significantly low, but also that the difference between perceived water needs and water consumption is much greater than amongst connected households. This thesis supports the PHG’s recommendation for an increasing block-tariff system, since regression analysis indicates inequitable distribution and pricing amongst districts and income levels.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International