Leaking sewage from Nofim settlement
Waste from Yakir settlment is pumped underground in Wadi Qana
Because Israeli settlements are not always linked to water and sewage facilities across the green line, many of them simply pump waste out of settled areas into the surrounding Palestinian farmland. The 10,000 settlers living in Wadi Qana also use this technique, and pump their waste into the valley. Until 2005, the sewage was allowed to flow aboveground. Since then, settlements have been forced to pump their waste underground, where it then pollutes groundwater. Forty years ago, locals drank water directly from the springs here. Today, none of the water is pottable, and only one small pool remains safe for swimming.
Palestinian land owners, in conjunction with the local government and the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Society have made many attempts to clean and preserve the valley. Yet even the simplest of proposals have been shot down by the Israeli civil adminstration - ideas such as opening a water treatment plant, or installing public toilets and trash cans for picnicker. The rationale given by the civil adminstration is that infrastructure building projects will not be approved in a 'Nature Reserve'.
As Israeli settlements continue to expand, so does the worry that Wadi Qana will be completely overrun. This would mean not only the loss of access to the land, but the destruction of the land itself.