Effects of Irrigation Activities on the Environment in the West Bank

Posted in 1998 Papers

This paper looks at the effects of irrigation activities on the environment in the West Bank. Irrigated agriculture covers an area of 9,472.8 hectares and utilities 93 million cubic meters of irrigation water. The current use of fertilizers in irrigated areas was found to be 18,980 tons of chemical fertilizers and 284,184 to 378,912 cubic meters of organic fertilizers. The total quantity of the pesticides used in irrigated agriculture is 152.5 tons of which 27 tons are internationally banned. Methyl bromide is a dominant material used for soil sterilization in the West Bank with a total estimated quantity of 398 tons, of which 44 percent is used in the vegetables planted under plastic houses and high plastic tunnels. Soil solarization method is only used by 0.5 percent of the surveyed farmers to control soil-born diseases. This study indicated that some farmers have faced health problems due to the spray of pesticides without using protective garments where, nineteen percent of the surveyed farmers suffer from poisoning symptoms and one percent is affected by methyl bromide fumigants. The total quantity of plastic sheets was averaged to be about 4,748 tons, at least fifty percent of which could become wastes. Eighty-eight percent of the surveyed farmers are used to collect and burn the plastic wastes on the field which could harm both the environment and the human health through smokes resulting from burning. Some water-related diseases occurred in the study area where, seventy nine persons were infected by a leishmaniasis and 14 others were infected by Dysentry. Despute the heavy use of fertilizers, water quality analysis did not show high concentration of nitrate.

ARIJ on Social Media