Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | February 14, 2012

“Throwaway societies” and the threat to future water supplies

In its daily production and consumption of goods and services, society generates wastes. This waste must be disposed of, often at locations other than where they were generated. Wastes are discharged into atmosphere, into surface and groundwater courses, and on the land. The enlightened communities of the world see a very clear sign to a severe dilemma – the massive surplus of garbage being flushed out of cities, factories, and other industrial centers.

Photo 1: Pollution of Mountain Aquifer by Solid Waste

The Mountain Aquifer is one of many setting were massive pollution takes place. FoEME‘s research projects describe the geographical characteristics of the Mountain Aquifer and identify the major sources of pollution from (1) sewage and (2) solid waste. The reports describe the different solutions that have been proposed and the factors that prevent the implementation of sewage solutions or solid waste disposal facilities, as well as drawing conclusions and recommendations to protect the Mountain Aquifer.

The Mountain Aquifer is one of the most significant sources of water for both Israelis and Palestinians. Nearly the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank is dependent on springs, wells or extracted water from the Mountain Aquifer for drinking and other uses. In Israel, the Mountain Aquifer supplies water to major population centers.

Photo 2: Solid Waste Dumping Along Roads

But what stands behind the pollution of Mount Aquifer? We live in a “throwaway society” because we regularly purchase things which are manufactured and used only once, then disposed of without worry or care. People have been relying on the “out of sight, out of mind” tactic for many years. In modern times, we think natural resources are “going to waste” if they are undeveloped, which translates to turning a profit at the expense of Mother Nature. Another large problem is “getting rid of” the mountains of waste – the landfills. These eyesores are so unpopular that the dislike itself has been named the NIMBY theory (Not In My Back Yard); nobody wants to live near one, much less look at one. This terrible problem needs an appropriate solution that is both popular with the public and fast on the clock. All of the multifaceted obstacles regarding this predicament, which has plagued the human population of this green earth for centuries, must be overcome.

Have a look at the investigative report ‘Pollution of the Mountain Aquifer by Sewage – Finding Solutions‘ and visit FoEME’s website for more information about our projects.

– This post was written by FoEME intern Lena Siedentopp.  Lena is based in FoEME’s Bethlehem office.

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