(July 30, 2018 / Israel Hayom) 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.”