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Water Quality


Jerusalem Water Undertaking is dedicated to insure clean, healthy and safe running water for its customer and to keep alert and be prepared to tackle any problems pertaining to water quality. JWU samples delivered water for regular testing at the resource sites and at different spots of the distribution system.


Produced water at Ein Samya Wells is tested and analyzed for bacterial and Chemical aspects. Specific chemistry tests are conducted biannually to analyze: positively charged ions (Cations) and negatively-charged ions (Anions),   low concentrated elements and soap- content. there are also, weekly tests to analyze impurity and conductivity levels, along with the chlorine- content. As for the distribution network, several laboratory tests are routinely conducted for impurity, conductivity and chlorine- content.


Furthermore, JWU conducts daily bacterial tests that covers the entire distribution system. For this end, the JWU service area is divided into four areas based on the delivered water source. Each  area, subsequently, is divided into sub-areas based on number of customers. Bacterial tests are allotted to the subareas in line with the recommended WHO number of tests per 1000 customers.



In addition to the internal JWU tests,  the Palestine Water Authority conducts irregular testing to the JWU water quality. The government Health Department, on its part, collects samples from subscribers’ houses for bacterial testing.

Formerly, the entire tests and analysis were conducted by the Environment Health and Occupational Safety Sciences Center at Birzeit University, however, JWU conducts all regular testing and also conducts sampling for the different tests for the other bodies.

Through creating new organizational units mandated with controlling water quality and protect water sources, JWU seeks to reassure its customers of its commitment to provide quality, health and safe water in line with highest  quality standards and specifications.

Up to this moment, a part of  exceptional cases, JWU proved to be safe and healthy and compatible with the internationally acknowledged standards.

Descriptive Results:

  1. Results of Chemistry Analysis – JWU Water Sources- 2015
Source Hardness* mg/L Calcium  mg/L Magnesium mg/L Nitrites mg/L Iron mg/L Chloride Fluoride mg/L Sulfate mg/L Nitrates mg/L TDS  mg/L
Shu’fat Line 98.9 33 4.0 1.8 0.07 49.0 0.12 29.0 0.008 206.0
Ramallah Station 136.8 35 12.0 8.4 0.02 63.0 0.38 31.0 0.003 314.0
Hizma Line 162.5 42 14.0 4.3 0.03 61.0 0.32 29.0 0.006 277.0
Ein Samya 1 165.9 45 13.0 14.8 0.07 23.0 0.20 18.0 0.027 282.0
Ein Samya 2 207.8 42 25.0 4.8 0.00 30.6 0.36 14.0 0.004 252.0
Ein Samya 3 264.0 48 35.0 6.2 0.00 21.8 0.39 12.0 0.018 276.0
WHO Standards ** ** ** 50 0.30 250 1.5 250 3 1000
1 source: JWU Labs * JWU water is classified under Moderately Hard- Hard
** WHO Standard Unavailable


  • Physical Analysis Results- JWU Water Sources 2015


Source Impurity Level* Electrical Conductivity pH
Shu’fat Line 0.92 412 8.09
Ramallah Station 0.40 628 7.97
Hizma Line 0.60 548 7.80
Ein Samya 1 0.26 569 7.65
Ein Samya 2 0.20 503 7.54
Ein Samya 3 0.33 552 7.35
Source: JWU Quality Control Division * WHO Guidelines value is 5




  • Bacterial Analysis Results

JWU conducts regular bacterial tests for its different water resources on a monthly basis, or otherwise, whenever the need arises for such test. Until this day, results of such tests are compatible with the WHO recommendations. As for the distribution network, the results of 2015 tests were as follows:


Total Number of Tests Number of Tests with no Bacterial Colonies* Number of Tests with One or More Bacterial Colonies*
774 766 8
(Source: JWU Quality Control Division)


The World Health Organization Guidelines state that success percent of tests should not be less than 95% of the total samples collected during a period of 12 months. The above results show that JWU drinking- water are compatible with the WHO guidelines concerning the total number of Coliform bacteria.















Water Resources


During the winter, Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate enjoy relatively high rates of rainfall, especially in the western parts of the governorate. This rainfall supplies underground basins in the (Eastern and Western) mountain cliff. The eastern parts, however, have lower annual rain rate, that gradually decline eastwards until drought near Jericho Governorate. The service area of JWU is covered with carbon chalk, while the underground basins are formed from calcareous and dolomite formations, like the ones in Jerusalem and parts of Bethlehem, Hebron and Biet Kahel. Those basins are divided by mostly calcareous clay formations, like the ones in Yatta, Bethlehem and Beit Kahel.


The mountain cliff is divided regionally into two reservoirs: a western mountain reservoir that pours underground water westwards, and an eastern mountain one that pours water east and east-southwards.  The two reservoirs split into two basins, one is upper and the other is lower. The upper basin extends from Jerusalem formation to the Hebron formation, while the rock surface of the lower basin starts at the convexity axis of the west bank terrain, and alters as we move to the east and west until it shrinks and could be reached by wells.


There are no precise estimations for the safe productivity of the underground basins in the governorate, yet waterfall feeding estimations were available in several sources. According to the sources, the total annual feeding of the western reservoir, (the one with higher capacity) that extends from the West Bank convexity axis towards the 1949 truce line in the west, is 360 million m3.  While, the eastern reservoir feeding is 172 million  m3 . according to the Oslo Accords, in the second phase, the Palestinians would be allowed to annually  utilize 70-80 million m3  of water for future development.


JWU Well-fields  



Due to the current state of affairs, with regard to using underground reservoirs, and because of some hydrologic factors, Ein Samya well field (in the eastern reservoir) represents  the only  water source for JWU. This field is located 20 Km to the east north of Ramallah  at the middle of the way to the Jordan Valley.  It is lower by 500 m of Ramallah and 400 m above the sea level.  Ein Samya well field dates back to the Roman era or even prior to it, and is named after prince Samya. Remnants of a mill, a water canal and mosaic floor  from the Roman and Ottoman eras were discovered at the site. The contemporary history of Ein Samy, as a well field has started after 1948 during the Jordanian era.


The following map represents the speculative boundaries of the West Bank reservoirs, their estimated production capacity, and the location of Ein Samya wells:


































West Bank Reservoirs  speculative boundaries (adapted from Arij Organization map for 1998)   and the location of Ein Samya Wells (JWU, 1999)


JWU has attempted two excavations in 1996 and 1998 in two selected locations in Ein Sinia north to Ramallah. Excavation reached the lower rock formation parallel to the Krunb basin in Jordan, but achieved no significant success in both sites. Both wells were closed and considered fertile, but they were spared as potential monitoring wells.

Another potential underground water resource for JWU is in the northern part of its service area, which is located over the northern rainfall catchment. Unfortunately, despite our critical need to water, the Israeli government does not allow JWU to develop any water resources in that part of the catchment. Thus, Ein Samya well field currently is the sole JWU owned water resource.






Ein Samya Well-field Facts and Figures

Panoramic View of Ein Samya Well-Field


The average total production capacity of the field is about 300-350 m3/ hour or equivalent to 2.7 million m3/ year. In the dry winter years, like 1998, 1999 and 2000, the total production capacity of the wells was affected negatively.

Following is a brief description of the currently operating wells in Ein Samya area.




Well no. 1:

It was manually excavated in 1964 to replace the Ein Samy spring. The average production capacity is 100 m3/ hour in the ordinary winters. Its fed by the perched and shallow underground basin. Its water level fluctuates depending on the dry or rainy seasons. The capacity declines to the half in Summer.


Well no. 2:

It was excavated for the first time in 1965/1966 with production capacity of 45 m3/ hour. By 1991, its capacity declined to 34m3/ hour. Perhaps the inclined vertical opening of the well (the well is not straight) and the small diameter were among the technical difficulties and problems that hindered its potential rehabilitation. The JWU, thus addressed the German government to fund the excavation of a new well to replace the old one. The excavation of the well no. 2a started in 1994 in a nearby location under the “Development  of Water Delivery Services”  Project funded by the German government, through the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ/ GIZ). The depth of the new  well 2a after its completion is 250 m, and it produces 165 m3/ hour from the Upper New Geology era basin. The level of its water is 170 m under the ground. After 20 years of operation, the well capacity declined to 100 m3/ hour, and the water level reached 190 m under the ground level.


Well no. 3:

It was excavated in 1980, where it breaks  through the lower underground basin up to 526 meters. It was rehabilitated in 1996 through the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ/ GIZ). Since then, the well capacity is the second highest one among the JWU wells. The well capacity mounts to 180 m3/ hour. In 2013, JWU rehabilitated and developed the well and replaced the equipment inside it after they went out of service in 2012.


Well no. 4:

It was excavated in 990. Despite the fact that it is the deepest well (616 m), its production capacity does not exceed an average of 1000 m3/ day from the lower underground basin, (i.e., 62 m3/ hour for 16 consecutive hours a day). The apparent reason for this low capacity seems to be a complicated hydro- geologic condition. A deep vertical rift is situated between well no. 4 and the other wells mostly causing a restriction and causing a lowered capacity of the wells to a great extent. This factor also affects the Israeli wells in the area.


Well no. 6:

The excavation of this well started in March 1999 with German funding through the German Cooperation Agency (GTZ/ GIZ). The excavation was completed in July in the same year. The well depth was 640 m, and it was filled up with earth up to 590 m, and was lined with a 18.6 inch pipe until 411 m under the ground level. A pumping test was performed on this well with a 330 m3/h production capacity, where the decline in its water level reached 80 m only without any significant impact on the other wells. The well was equipped and operated since August 2000 with average capacity of 200 m3/ hour, where it contributes to a great extent to ease the suffering of water shortage in the JWU service area. With this well operational for years, the water level declined considerably inside it and it needs rehabilitation and less water pumping to preserve  the water level inside the well.

Well Number 6: Final Pumping Test, with Productivity Average of 330 m3 /Hour (July 19-21, 1999)


Protection of Water Resources

The Ein Samya well field is considered the sole JWU owned water resource. JWU has realized the growing pollution hazards threatening the vital well field.  These threats were caused by the inappropriate agricultural practices, quarries, and solid and liquid waste disposal; prompting JWU to take timely measures to meet this enormous threat.

Under the institutional development process, the JWU council of Directors set the strategies and tactics to protect  and preserve the underground well fields owned to JWU, and also to protect the JWU water delivery system as follows:


Well Number Excavation Year Coordinates  Altitude in meters above sea level   Sea depth in meters under sea level Basin Static water level in meters underground Dynamic water level in meters above ground Underground fixed pump setting in meters Pumping Rate M3/H
1 1964 181.450/155.250 446 60 Upper Perched 12-37 15-48 52 90-130
2a 1994 181.750/154.900 417 252 Formally the upper basin 190 195 225 100
3 1980 181.550/155.250 440 526 The lower basin 217 330 357 180
4 1990 182.250/155.450 432 616 The lower basin 360 469 471 62
6 1999 181.955/154.569 413 590 The upper and lower basin 237 300 350 200
Well Number 2 operates for 20 hours/ day only. * Source: JWU files and Measurements


Future Efforts


According to the latest figures, JWU is compelled to buy about 85% of its current drinking water needs from the Israeli authorities. Any restrictions on running water procurement, thus, could have a very serious impact on the delivered water to the JWU subscribers. JWU is rationalizing water deliveries in all its service areas, since it is unable to buy additional water quantities to meet the increasing demands of water.


The council of directors and the JWU management have realized the gravity of such situation, so they are more eager to exert their best efforts to increase water deliveries from the JWU own resources, including those in the west reservoir. The goal is to decrease dependency on the external sources and decrease water shortage in the coming years.  However, until this moment, JWU has not been successful in increasing the imported water except from Shu’fat line, where it was able to buy additional water quantities with high prices.


Distribution Network

Ramallah and Al-Bireh Water Company installed the original distribution network in the early 50s of the past century. In that time, they used to plumb pipes to connect water to a subscriber but not to feed a street or an area. Most of the plumbing was done over the ground and in the lands of the others, and in some cases, a subscriber would be  allowed to buy pipes and metering devices to connect water to their building and install it on their own expense. This produced a messy water network characterized by high loss percentage and high maintenance cost. Moreover, JWU inherited worn out water networks in the villages of Dir Dibwan, Bitin and Kufr Malek, causing the inappropriate delivery of water and enormous delivery difficulties.


Today, JWU uses steel galvanized pipes with diameters from 3/4-2 inches threaded from both ends and connected to each others with nipples according to the applicable international specifications. The pipes are coated with three layers of Epoxy, Polypropylene and Polyethylene. 3-24 inch pipes lined with cement and coated with Epoxy, Polypropylene and Polyethylene are also used at the JWU. These pipes are connected through welding in line with IS530, BS 534 specifications. JWU started in 1998 using Ductile Iron Pipes with 4, 6 and 8 inch diameters.


During the past ten years, JWU was able to rehabilitate large parts of water networks with funds from the German Development Bank KFW, with a total amount of 13 million Euros. 58 water network rehabilitation projects, along with a transmission line were implemented under this program. JWU network renewal percentage mounted to 35%. This project has contributed to decrease water loss to 25.6% in 2013 compared to 32% in 2008.


As a complementary to the first project to decrease the lost water, the KFW granted the JWU a donation to develop the Inclusive Drinking Water Plan. The plan was finalized by the end of 2015 and included stages to develop the network until 2040. The plan has been formulated according to the data of the following census:



Estimated Number of Population in JWU Service Area


2007 275,981
2008 284,195
2012 319,418
2013  328,811
 2014 338,382
2015 357,968



Source: Population, Housing and Establishment Census 2007, PCBS


The rapid increase in population led to a rapid increase in the JWU customers. The following chart represents the increase in the number of subscribers through the past 41 years:
JWU Number of Customers from 1974-2015


The JWU adopts the closed loop system in its network to deliver water to its subscribers in the cities and villages. The current length of the distribution network is about 1350 km. the next chart represents development of the network length in kilometers during the past 41 years.
Distribution Network Development During the Past 41 Years


Network Rehabilitation Projects During the Past Ten Years

KFW – Funded Project to Decrease Water Loss – Phase 1
Final Project Cost Entrepreneur Project Bid no. No.
141,046.41 Public Excavations Company Jifna- Birzeit line 10 and 4 774 1
9,208.00 Talal Abu Ghazaleh Company Audition 779 2
7,450.00 Atlas Company Land Surveying Machine 780 3
6,481.00 B.Z.A.R Zaki Razon Pressure Relief Valves (PRV) Procurement 4
7,750.00 Arad LTD. Dalia Automated Meter Reading (AMR) for wells and pumps Procurement 5
232,258.22 Afaq General Entrepreneurs Rehabilitation of main lines in Dir Dibwan 781 6
28,576.00 Malmco Company Rehabilitation of electricity panel for Ein Samaya wells and stations 787 7
198,030.20 Public Excavations Company Birzeit –Kober main line rehabilitation 790 8
328,400.40 Al’aser Company Kober network rehabilitation 793 9
178,558.49 Al-Omar Engineering Company Abu Shkheidem network rehabilitation 794 10
338,355.07 Al’aser Company Line 24 Ramallah rehabilitation 795 11
219,682.50 Public Excavations Company Ramoun water network rehabilitation 796 12
190,597.10 Diamond Group Company Burka network rehabilitation 797 13
51,240.00 Alnabali Entrepreneurs  Company AMR transfer and post AMR connection 803 14
15,660.00 Alwataniya Company Ein samya station rehabilitation 805  
13,384.00 CCS computer systems Company Computer and electricity parts 15
5,720.00 Altakamul Engineering Company  
75,053.20 Adraj Company Industrial zone lines rehabilitation 806 16
153,187.79 Public Excavations Company Aljdayra network rehabilitation 809 17
641,238.15 Diamond Group Company Birnabala network rehabilitation 810 18
384,137.25 Public Excavations Company Alram network rehabilitation 811 19
4,000.22 Qalandia network rehabilitation- compensation 812 20
422,252.31 Al’aser/ Ismail Salamin Company Ein yabroud network rehabilitation 813 21
74,972.40 Al’ataa wal-Istmrar Company Almazra’a Alsharqia network rehabilitation 814 22
10,730.00 Sabri for telecommunications  and Computer systems Company JWU computer development 815 23
760.00 Alwataniya Compnay  
194,531.75 Alqasaba Company 2000 m3 reservoir for Dir Dibwan 816 24
236,488.15 Al-Eman Entrepreneurs Company Mukhmas network rehabilitation 821 25
112,246.15 Ahmad Alsalamin Company Qalandia town network rehabilitation 822 26
329,028.80 Al’aser Excavations Company Atara network rehabilitation 825 27
25,751.00 Darb Company French Sabil Alter AMR procurement 830 28
0.00 PCi for communications and Computing Station development project 832 29
6,862.00 Sunuqrut for Electrical Engineering
897,057.02 Alhinawi Company Ramallah old town network rehabilitation 833 30
14,864.00 Al’aser/ Ismail Salamin Almahtab street line \/ old town rehabilitation 833B 31
164,807.55 EMS Ramallah station rehabilitation 835 32
42,265.07 SED/ Musa Hijazi Biet Hanina main line rehabilitation 836 33
524,852.37 Ahmad Salamin and sons Alram phase 2 rehabiliation 839 34
573,161.84 AlOmar Engineering Albireh ras tahouneh network rehabilitation 840 35
51,071.72 Alfursan althalatha Albalou’ line 10 rehabilitation 841 36
280,653.80 Al’aser/ Ismail Salamin Dir jrir network and line 16 rehabilitation 842 37
641,939.86 Rinawi Beit Hanina main line rehabilitation/ phase 1 848_1 38
210,383.19 Rinawi Beit Hanina main line rehabilitation/ phase 2 848_2 39
519,318.11 Hinawi Turmus’aya network  rehabilitation 849 40
78,163.30 Public Excavations Company Almazir’a line rehabilitation/ Sinjil 850 41
74,467.00 Al’aser/ Ismail Salamin Birziet line 10 rehabilitation 851 42
169,467.00 Public Excavations Company/Khalil Salamin Rafat network rehabilitation 853 43
60,401.58 Hinawi Almadares street rehabilitation / sinjel 855 44
182,339.49 Alfursan althalatha Almanara network rehabilitation – Ramallah downtown 857 R 45
445,420.65 Jubil and technical company group Alram network rehabilitation-phase 3 858 46
453,706.05 Ahmad Salamin and sons Rehabilitation of Om Alsharayet network –albireh 859 47
65,538.46 Palestinian co. for engines 3 Mitsubishi vehicles 860 48
37,115.00 Jubail general entrepreneurs Rehabilitation of Ramallah station- civil works and electric device procurement 864 49
89,850.00 € Alomar engeneering/ eng. Ibrahim Aqel Procurement, installment and operation of control panel and pumping unit in Ramallah 864-B1 50
74,165.00 Alakhras electric services Procurement, installment and operation of control panel and pumping unit in Ramallah 864-B2 51
292,155.25 Gama general entrepreneurs Almazr’a Algharbiya network rehabilitation 871 52
452,583.44 Al’aser/ Ismail Salamin Ramallah industrial zone water network rehabilitation 874 53
64,954.79 Sabil international Atara reservoir transferring line 875 54
69,222.00 Dusra Protable AMR and invoice printing devices procurement 876 55
484,975.00 Alkamal electric services/ Imad kamal AMR 15 ml Procurement 877 56
25,497.80 Ahmad Salamin and sons Dir Dibwan Network Rehabilitation 885 57
88,750.00 Alkamal electric services/ Imad kamal AMR 15 ml Procurement 908 58
864,757.04 Miscellaneous maintenance works   59
136,498.60 Plumbing Alqurni’a water line   60
24,621.49 Administrative services   61
12,798,660.03 Total in Euro      


Network Mapping


In light of the goal to unify and upgrade current maps of the  JWU delivery and distribution network, JWU started with German assistance through GIZ to prepare automated maps for the delivery and distribution maps. JWU considers this a vital action to facilitate documentation and access to the maps, which results in providing a concise database for the existing network. JWU continued to develop distribution plans until building an inclusive database and GIS. All the water networks have been transformed into the application along with subscribers data. Through the inclusive drinking water plan funded by KFW, the database has been developed and upgraded so as to facilitate access by the JWU staff to view the water networks plans and subscribers data by any staff member making work easier to handle and process.


This program still needs development in terms of precision of plans and being representative of the reality of the network on ground. The project needs large funding  to conduct field mapping of the JWU water network, providing that all the new networks and lines are already transferred with high quality on the GIS.


Remote Control and Monitoring System

With aid from the GIZ, the IT department developed a remote control and monitoring system for the water flow and pressure ant the JWU delivery and distribution network. This system is being installed by a national company and it was operated with excellent capability.


20 sites and facilities of the network shall be connected to this system on a microwave wireless network with a 2.4 gigahertz frequency. Optical fiber cables have been used in some sites with geographical nature that do not permit wireless connection.


Regional Assessment of the Distribution Network

JWU with funding from the KFW has prepared an inclusive drinking water plan and the JWU network that resulted in a new Hydraulic scheme for the JWU water network includes the current situation and the needed upgrades on the water network and transfer lines in the next 25 years up to 2040. This scheme could be utilized  to design the JWU water networks.