Water in the Gaza Strip is so salty that it is unfit for human consumption...Given that agricultural water users consume two-thirds of Gaza's available water supply (paying only 2–4 cents/m^3), that means that over 100 million m^3 are going to ag -- a number that exceeds the water deficit from overdrafting.
...the amount taken from underground aquifers last year to supply 1.5 million people with drinking water and for agriculture was 160 million cubic metres, but that natural replenishment was 80-90 million cubic metres.
Thus, farmers are using so much water that the remaining water is getting contaminated with salt, leaving the children with nothing to drink, and they die. QED.
The solution to this problem is simple (to me):
- Quantify the total sustainable yield from the aquifer.
- Allocate that yield by willingness to pay.
- Since drinking water is more valuable than agricultural water, that will mean adequate water for children and less water for farmers.
- Replace the missing food with imports (virtual water) from elsewhere.
- Do NOT build desalination plants to increase supply.