05-12-2011. Source: ENPI info centre

The Palestinian Land Authority has allocated the land needed for a landmark desalination plant in the Gaza Strip, a project directly supported by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). A press release from the UfM said the decision, taken on the directives of the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, would see 30 dunums (30,000 Square Metres) of Al Mawasi land in Khan Yunis, south of Gaza, made available for the plant, which will have a capacity of 100 million cubic meters.

The press release added that President Abbas had formed a committee entrusted with carrying out an Arab regional tour, to raise the necessary funding to build the desalination plant, which will cost up to $450 million.

On 22 June 2011, the Union for the Mediterranean gave its “label” to its very first project, the construction of the desalination facility and distribution system in the Gaza Strip, which aims to address the major water deficit for a population of 1.6 million. The “labeling” of this large-scale project, submitted by the Secretariat’s Environment & Water Division in collaboration with the Palestinian Water Authority by the representatives of the 43 UfM countries was partly based on a unanimous recommendation from the UfM’s Water Expert Group.

This humanitarian project will contribute to job creation and future economic and sustainable development in the highly populated region of the Mediterranean. The Project will also contribute to the political stability of the region through the removal of the water scarcity issue from the web of multiple and complex issues facing the Gaza Strip. See also here for the Press Release.