Water is essential for every human being. For Palestinians that live in the occupied West Bank it is also a necessary tool to stay on their land and continue the life style that was inherited by them from generations ago.

Three water stories of three different families across the West Bank (Northern Jordan Valley, Bethlehem area in the Central West Bank and the southern hills of Susiya) are featured in the pictures.

All three families have at least one thing in common – their existence on the land highly depends on their access to water. Getting water is the central aspect of their daily routines – would it be bringing it by expensive water trucks to remote locations in the middle of desert in Al Rashayda or carefully managing rainwater collected during the winter rains in Susiya – without this access to water families would be left with no choice but to move from their original places of living and look for other locations. None of the families expressed a wish to do so.

From day to day, this access to water becomes more and more limited as the Israeli occupation authorities control and restrict the Palestinian development of necessary infrastructure to access water in Area C of the West Bank, but also Oslo II Accords leaves Palestinians with a very little portion of what is supposed to be equally shared water resources. As a result, the dry fields of Hamsa are getting dryer and there is little hope that the situation would change soon. 

Published in TheGuardian: West Bank water crisis puts Palestinians in firing zone, Swedish ETC, GEO

- ArtMor - Farhan Ali Awdeh’s (right) family lives in Al Rashayda located southeast of Bethlehem together with his parents and his brothers family that makes 30 persons in total. Their monthly consumption of water is 120 cubic meters that is consumed by the family and also used for their livestock – sheep, goats and camels. The family pays around 40 NIS (9.6 euro) per cubic meter for water that is delivered to Al Rashayda by truck.
Farhan Ali Awdeh’s (right) family lives in Al Rashayda located southeast of Bethlehem together with his parents and his brother's family that makes 30 persons in total. Their monthly consumption of water is 120 cubic meters that is consumed by the family and also used for their livestock – sheep, goats and camels. The family pays around 40 NIS (9.6 euro) per cubic meter for water that is delivered to Al Rashayda by truck.
- ArtMor - Farhan rests while grazing sheep not far from the Bedouin village. Twice a day more than 120 sheep owned by Farhan’s family must be taken to the water source that is located in Israel’s declared firing zone”, about 3km away from their house. Herding is the main source of income for the community and becomes more and more difficult with the restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on access to land and water.
Farhan rests while grazing sheep not far from the Bedouin village. Twice a day more than 120 sheep owned by Farhan’s family must be taken to the water source that is located in Israel’s declared "firing zone”, about 3km away from their house. Herding is the main source of income for the community and becomes more and more difficult with the restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on access to land and water.
- ArtMor - Farhan rests while grazing sheep not far from the Bedouin village. Twice a day more than 120 sheep owned by Farhan’s family must be taken to the water source that is located in Israel’s declared firing zone”, about 3km away from their house. Herding is the main source of income for the community and becomes more and more difficult with the restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on access to land and water.
Farhan rests while grazing sheep not far from the Bedouin village. Twice a day more than 120 sheep owned by Farhan’s family must be taken to the water source that is located in Israel’s declared "firing zone”, about 3km away from their house. Herding is the main source of income for the community and becomes more and more difficult with the restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on access to land and water.
- ArtMor - Farhans son Ali (5) and his nephew Aid (12) waters sheep from illegal water source near the commune. Twice a day more than 120 sheep must be taken to the water source that is located in Israel declared Firing zone, about 3km from their house.
Farhan's son Ali (5) and his nephew Aid (12) waters sheep from illegal water source near the commune. Twice a day more than 120 sheep must be taken to the water source that is located in Israel declared "Firing zone", about 3km from their house.
- ArtMor - Farhans nephews on their daily trip to deliver water to different parts of the Bedouin village.
Farhan's nephews on their daily trip to deliver water to different parts of the Bedouin village.
- ArtMor - Farhans mother and his nephew Aid attaching jerry cans to the donkey. Twice every day different family members deliver water to the scattered shacks in the area that belong to the family.
Farhan's mother and his nephew Aid attaching jerry cans to the donkey. Twice every day different family members deliver water to the scattered shacks in the area that belong to the family.
- ArtMor - Farhans mother and his nephew Aid attaching jerry cans to the donkey. Twice every day different family members deliver water to the scattered shacks in the area that belong to the family.
Farhan's mother and his nephew Aid attaching jerry cans to the donkey. Twice every day different family members deliver water to the scattered shacks in the area that belong to the family.
- ArtMor - Farhans nephews on their daily trip to deliver water to different parts of the Bedouin village.
Farhan's nephews on their daily trip to deliver water to different parts of the Bedouin village.
- ArtMor - Old water tanker of Farhans family that was used to bring water from the filling point to the Bedouin community, but now needs repairs and is mainly used as water storage tank.
Old water tanker of Farhan's family that was used to bring water from the filling point to the Bedouin community, but now needs repairs and is mainly used as water storage tank.
- ArtMor - Farhans mother gives water to the sheep from the water tanker.
Farhan's mother gives water to the sheep from the water tanker.
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- ArtMor - A girl plays with a young goat in Al Rashayda.
A girl plays with a young goat in Al Rashayda.
- ArtMor - Water tankers are a common mean for bringing water to the community from the nearby villages. The Israeli Civil Administration is systematically denying Palestinians residing in Area C the right to build any permanent structures such as rainwater collecting cisterns or to have running water, electricity, schools, health care or roads.
Water tankers are a common mean for bringing water to the community from the nearby villages. The Israeli Civil Administration is systematically denying Palestinians residing in Area C the right to build any permanent structures such as rainwater collecting cisterns or to have running water, electricity, schools, health care or roads.
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- ArtMor - Camels come back to the village for water at night when the temperatures are lower. An adult camel can drink as much as 200 litres per one go.
Camels come back to the village for water at night when the temperatures are lower. An adult camel can drink as much as 200 litres per one go.
- ArtMor - Khaled Hamad Al Nawajaa (2nd from right) together with his sons poses for a photo during his elderly daughters wedding. Besides the water challenges faced by Khaled’s family, the whole village of Susiya has standing demolition orders from the Israeli authorities and is under risk of forced transfer.
Khaled Hamad Al Nawaja'a (2nd from right) together with his sons poses for a photo during his elderly daughter's wedding. Besides the water challenges faced by Khaled’s family, the whole village of Susiya has standing demolition orders from the Israeli authorities and is under risk of forced transfer.
- ArtMor - Khaled sprays water on his sheep during a hot day in Susiya. Selling sheep, milk and its products are the main sources of income for Khaled’s family.
Khaled sprays water on his sheep during a hot day in Susiya. Selling sheep, milk and its products are the main sources of income for Khaled’s family.
- ArtMor - One of the three rainwater-collecting cisterns that belong to Khaled’s family. In addition to the rainwater collected during winter, the family also needs to buy approx. 10 cubic meters of water per month for households needs.
One of the three rainwater-collecting cisterns that belong to Khaled’s family. In addition to the rainwater collected during winter, the family also needs to buy approx. 10 cubic meters of water per month for households needs.
- ArtMor - Khaled milks sheep before dinner. Selling animal products is the main source of income for his family and many others in Susiya.
Khaled milks sheep before dinner. Selling animal products is the main source of income for his family and many others in Susiya.
- ArtMor - Khaleds wife washes clothes while her husband is praying.
Khaled's wife washes clothes while her husband is praying.
- ArtMor - Yihya, Khaled’s elder son, watches as sudden storm goes by. Last winter was rich with rain that helped to fill the water cisterns for summer.
Yihya, Khaled’s elder son, watches as sudden storm goes by. Last winter was rich with rain that helped to fill the water cisterns for summer.
- ArtMor - Yihya drinks rain water during sudden storm.
Yihya drinks rain water during sudden storm.
- ArtMor - Fayez Ebsharat (bottom right) poses with his and his sons family in their shelter in Hamsa, North of the West Bank.
Fayez Ebsharat (bottom right) poses with his and his son's family in their shelter in Hamsa, North of the West Bank.
- ArtMor - Fayezs wife and his daughter milk sheep in their animal shelter. Family relies on selling milk products and vegetables.
Fayez's wife and his daughter milk sheep in their animal shelter. Family relies on selling milk products and vegetables.
- ArtMor - Fayez shows the demolition order for his house that he received from the Israel authorities. His house, as every other structure built without a permit in Area C, can be demolished any time. Permits for Palestinian building in Area C are routinely denied: in the last 3 years, 97% of permits applied by Palestinians for building or rehabilitating any structures in Area C were refused by the Israeli authorities.
Fayez shows the demolition order for his house that he received from the Israel authorities. His house, as every other structure built without a permit in Area C, can be demolished any time. Permits for Palestinian building in Area C are routinely denied: in the last 3 years, 97% of permits applied by Palestinians for building or rehabilitating any structures in Area C were refused by the Israeli authorities.
- ArtMor - Fayezs daughter washes dishes after lunch. The whole family consumes around 40 cubic meters of water per month for drinking, cleaning, feeding their animals and for agriculture needs.
Fayez's daughter washes dishes after lunch. The whole family consumes around 40 cubic meters of water per month for drinking, cleaning, feeding their animals and for agriculture needs.
- ArtMor - Fayezs son Mahmoud waters their fields of eggplants.
Fayez's son Mahmoud waters their fields of eggplants.
- ArtMor - Dry fields of eggplants. Despite high temperatures, the family waters their fields only once in two days, due to lack of access to water.
Dry fields of eggplants. Despite high temperatures, the family waters their fields only once in two days, due to lack of access to water.
- ArtMor - Mahmoud carries a long pipe to their green house that is later used for irrigating vegetables.
Mahmoud carries a long pipe to their green house that is later used for irrigating vegetables.
- ArtMor - Mahmoud is filling up the water tanker from a common reservoir used by several farmers in Humsa.
Mahmoud is filling up the water tanker from a common reservoir used by several farmers in Humsa.
- ArtMor - Water for farming is delivered to other locations by water tanker.
Water for farming is delivered to other locations by water tanker.
- ArtMor - The whole family rests after long day work near their shacks in Hamsa.
The whole family rests after long day work near their shacks in Hamsa.
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