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Spatial vulnerability assessment for water service providers: a case study from the gaza strip

Water Service Providers (WSPs) play a critical role in delivering safe drinking water, managing wastewater, and maintaining distribution systems. Vulnerabilities facing water utilities can hinder their ability to meet community needs. This study focuses on evaluating the performance of WSPs in the Gaza Strip and identifying strengths and weaknesses. The ultimate goal is to create vulnerability maps for these providers. The methodology involves engaging key stakeholders through meetings to gather insights and knowledge. A total of 25 service providers are assessed based on 90 variables. 29 vulnerability indicators were grouped into six categories: technical vulnerability, financial vulnerability, water quality, institutional vulnerability, customer satisfaction, and reliability/quality of service. Normalization of indicators using the standard normal distribution concept allows for meaningful comparison. Geographic Information System (GIS) are employed to spatially represent vulnerability indicators across the Gaza Strip. Results are depicted in vulnerability maps, showcasing areas of concern for different WSPs. The study underscored the dynamic nature of vulnerability among the WSPs. The conclusion is drawn considering the spatial analysis, wherein the WSPs are grouped into three groups of WSPs, taking into account the concluded six vulnerability indexes. This assessment provides valuable insights into challenges facing municipalities in the Gaza Strip and emphasizes the need to address multiple aspects of vulnerability to enhance overall service delivery and resilience.

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