Hagihon Company Ltd. – Jerusalem Area's Water and Wastewater Utility
חברת הגיחון

Head office: 101 Hebron Rd., Jerusalem 9348001, Israel Tel.: +972-2-5651111 www.hagihon.co.il

A private Israeli water and sewage corporation owned by the Jerusalem Municipality. The company develops, operates and maintains the water, sewage and drainage networks of Jerusalem.

Through its subsidiary, Purification And Sewage Plants- Jerusalem Ltd, the company manages several sewage treatment plants.

The Sorek sewage treatment plant is the third largest plant in Israel, treating 90,000 cubic meters of sewage per day. The plant received sewage from settlements in the occupied West Bank, including Beitar Illit, Givat Zeev and Gush Ezion. It also treats sewage from the Palestinian towns of Beit Jala, Bir Nabala, Bethlehem and Al-Ram. The treated water is used in irrigation for agriculture in Israeli towns within the Green Line. The purification process is also used to generate electricity through biogas, generating over 12 million KW annually.

The Homat Shmuel (Har Homa) purification plant, opened in 2014, processes sewage from the Har Homa settlement neighborhood and the Palestinian neighborhoods of Sur Baher and Umm Tuba in occupied East Jerusalem. The treated water is used in irrigation throughout Jerusalem.

An additional purification plant, the Og plant, is located in the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank. The plant was built by Mekorot Development and Enterprise, a subsidiary of Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, under a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) agreement. The Og plant treats wastewater from northern East Jerusalem and from Maale Adumim settlement and the Mateh Binyamin settlement regional council. The treated water is used primarily to irrigate date palm orchards in settlements in the occupied Jordan Valley.

Purification and Sewage Plants- Jerusalem Ltd is planning to expand the Og plant and double its capacity in order to treat wastewater from the Kidron basin, which collects untreated wastewater from East Jerusalem. Since 2008, the Jordan Valley Water Association, a settlement water cooperative, has been operating an unauthorized facility that diverts the wastewater for settler use in date crops irrigation. In December 2015, Hagihon signed an agreement with the Jordan Valley Water Association to upgrade the unauthorized facility, stating that Hagihon will pay the cooperative in order to remove the solid waste from the wastewater.

Hagihon Company is also responsible for supplying water within the Jerusalem Municipality, including to Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem. However, residents of Ras Hamis, Ras Shahada, Dahyat a-Salam, and the Shuafat Refugee Camp, which have been cut off from the rest of the city by the construction of the Separation Wall, suffer from a chronic water crisis. In 2014, residents petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice after the company stopped the regular supply of water, leaving an estimated 60,000-80,000 Palestinians without regular running water. Expert opinions solicited by the Israeli NGO ACRI noted that water consumption in East Jerusalem is only half of the amount defined by the World Health Organization as fulfilling the basic right to water.