A joint power and desalination plant for Sinai and the Gaza Strip
Desalination can be a cost-effective way to produce fresh water and possibly electricity. The Gaza Strip has had a complex hydro-political situation for many years. Gaza is bordered by the Mediterranean sea in the west, by Israel to the north and east and by Egypt in the south. Water and electricity consumption in the Gaza Strip is expected to increase in the future due to the increasing population. In this paper, a solution for Sinai and the Gaza Strip is suggested involving the building of a joint power and desalination plant, located in Egypt close to the border with Gaza. The suggested joint project would increase drinking water supply by 500,000 m3/d and the power supply by 500 MW, of which two thirds is suggested to be used in Gaza and one third in Sinai. The present lack of electricity and water in Gaza could be erased by such a project. But Egypt will probably gain more: more water and electricity for the future development of Sinai and Gaza; a significant value will be added to the sale of Egyptian natural gas; more employment opportunities for Sinai people; the domestic market for operation and maintenance of desalination plants can be boosted by the suggested project; Egypt may naturally and peacefully increase its cooperation with and presence in Gaza, which should lead to increased security. This type of project could also get international support and can be a role-model for cooperation and trust-building between neighbours.
Keywords: desalination, environmental impact, Palestine-Gaza, power plant, water resources