The original network was constructed by Ramallah and Al-Bireh Water Co. in the early 1950s. The pipes used, were not according to standard specifications, and part of the pipes above 2 inch in diameter were second hand. The laying of pipes was usually done for individual consumers and not for entire streets or areas. Most pipes were laid above ground and in privately owned land. In some cases, the consumers were allowed to purchase and install their own pipes and water meters. All this, resulted in a confused network with high losses and costly upkeep and maintenance. Additionally, JWU took over the deteriorated and damaged networks of Dier Dibwan, Beiteen and Kufr Malik which further impeded proper performance of water supply and created more difficulties to JWU. At present, JWU uses galvanized steel pipes, 3/4-2 inches in diameter, threaded at both ends and joined by threaded joints in accordance with the ISO medium, BS 1387 medium DIN 2440 standards. It also uses 3-16 inches diameter pipes, with internal cement lining and coated by two layers of asphalt and fiber glass or by plastic wrapping to protect the pipes against corrosion and to increase its service lifetime. These pipes are joined together by welding as per IS 530, BS 534 standards. Recently (1998) JWU started using ductile iron pipes 3", 6" and 8" in diameter.
Due to lack of adequate funds, JWU was not able to expand its distribution network to cover newly planned residential zones in anticipation of connecting future buildings. JWU can only connect prepaying consumers taking into consideration the possibility of future development in the particular area by choosing the appropriate size of pipes when connecting the area. The population of the service area increased rapidly while there were no official records for the Palestinian Population (nor the number of Israeli settlers and Israeli military personnel), until 1997 when PCBS has made the first official census in Palestine.
|Estimated Population in JWU Service Area1 |
1 Source: Population and Housing Census 1997, PCBS.
3.5% increase in population / year according to PCBS.
|The rapid increase in population resulted in a rapid increase in consumers‘ connections. The following chart shows the increase in number of subscriptions during the past 26 years.
JWU Consumersâ€™ Connections: 1974 - 2003
The network in the cities and villages consists of pipes connected in loops. The present total length of the distribution network is almost 870 km. The following chart displays the network length development in km over the past 32 years.
Network Length Over Years
Network Rehabilitation Projects
The following table presents major network replacement and rehabilitation projects that had been implemented in the last years.
|Network Projects |
||Project Description / Completion Date
||Value Million US$
||Length in km|
|Ramallah and Al-Bireh
||Rehabilitation of old networks and replacement of obsolete pipe lines in Ramallah & Al-Bireh Area, 1995.
||USAID through UNDP|
|Ramallah and Al- Bireh
||Laying down 10" loop pipeline around Ramallah & Al-Bireh Area, 1995.
||Saudi Arabia through|
||Replacing existing 4" lines with 6" lines and parts of the network, 1995.
||Laying down 10" main supply line to Bir-Zeit, 1995.
||Saudi Arabia through PECDAR|
||Replacement of old distribution network, 1995.
|Taybeh, Deir Jreer & Ramoon
||Replacing the old supply line with a new 6" line, 1994.
||USAID through UNDP|
||Replacing the existing 6" line with a new 10" line, 1998.
||Replacing existing 4" main line, 1994.
||USAID through UNDP|
|Rafat / Beir Nabala
||Laying down 6" main line, 2000.
||France / JWU|
||Replacement of existing main line and laying down new lateral lines, 2000.
||Replacement of 3" main line, 2000.
||Laying down 2",3" and 4" lines, 2000.
|Other projects are still awaiting financing e.g., the distribution networks of Silwad, Al Jalazoun, Al Amari, Deir Dibwan and part of Ramallah and Al-Bireh distribution networks. |
In order to modernize and standardize the existing manual mapping of the JWU supply and distribution network, JWU and with a German financial assistance through GTZ, is in the process of producing Digital Maps for its supply and distribution network. JWU considers this work of utmost importance as it facilitates maps keeping and updates thus, providing an accurate database for the existing network and for its future development. This is in an addition to the fact that such work is the milestone towards JWU adopting a comprehensive GIS in the future.
For efficient water distribution as well as effective leak detection efforts, JWU and in cooperation with PWA is seeking external assistance to sector its distribution network into separate hydraulic zones.
Remote Control and Monitoring System
Also with GTZ assistance, a Remote Control and Monitoring System to control water flow and regulate pressure in JWU supply and distribution network has been developed by the Information Technology Department. Installation work is being carried by a local supplier and is due to be completed soon.
Twenty locations/facilities of the network are to be linked to the system, which is based on a wireless microwave network operating at 2.4 GHZ. Fiber Optic Cables have been used in certain locations where terrain/bandwidth does not allow for wireless communication.