The Israel Prison Service is reportedly exploring ‎the possibility of limiting Palestinian security ‎prisoners’ time in the shower, after learning that ‎they are wasting water on purpose.‎

Israel is grappling with a five-year drought, and the ‎public has been asked to use the precious resource ‎wisely, but according to religious news website ‎Hakol Hayehudi, security prisoners are wasting ‎‎hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of water on ‎purpose to undercut Israel’s water supply. ‎

According to the report, IPS data shows that ‎security prisoners’ wards use up far more water than ‎the criminal wards, whose inmates spend less time in ‎their cells.‎

The discrepancy between the wards’ water use is so ‎great, that it led the IPS to believe that ‎Palestinian inmates leave their showers running for ‎hours on purpose, to waste water.‎

An analysis of the data shows that ‎security prisoners use about 3.5 times more water a ‎year than the average Israeli—250 cubic meters ‎‎(‎8,830 cubic feet‎) compared to 70 cubic meters ‎‎(2,472 cubic feet).‎

As there are currently 5,800 Palestinian security ‎prisoners in Israeli jails, they seem to waste an ‎average of 750,000 cubic meters (26,486,000 cubic ‎feet) of water a year, costing taxpayers some 5.6 ‎million shekels ($1.5 million).‎

In an attempt to curb this phenomenon, the Israel ‎Prison Service has begun plumbing work in various facilities ‎to separate the pipes feeding showers from those ‎feeding sinks and lavatories. The move seeks to ‎limit prisoner’s time in the shower without ‎compromising their conditions overall.‎

‎“Unlike other inmates, security prisoners spend most ‎of the day in their cells. Due to security constraints, if a ward ‎does not have a common bathroom, the showers and ‎lavatories are often located inside the cells, which ‎allows for the overuse of water,” an IPS statement said.‎

‎“The Israel Prison Service is aware of this ‎disconcerting situation and has been working to ‎reduce it, in part by separating the lavatories’ ‎plumbing system from that of the showers and ‎limiting shower hours in order to diminish water ‎use. This is implemented in all prisons containing ‎maximum security wards.”

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said on Sunday, “The fact that security prisoners use about 50 percent ‎more water is unacceptable. We cannot allow such ‎waste. I have instructed the Israel Prison Service ‎to explore, without delay, additional ways to save ‎water in wards housing security prisoners.”