More than NIS 3 billion was invested in Israel's water infrastructures in 2012, states the Water in Authority in its annual report, published today. The steady increase in desalinated water production and of recycled treated wastewater, greater efficiency, and two years of above-average precipitation have enabled the country's water supply to recover after seven years of drought. The water supply is now in a position to meet future crises.
The Water Authority says that Israel's water supply has undergone a revolution in recent years, switching in a decade from a supply that relied solely on natural sources to a system in which half the supply is produced through technological solutions.
Israel's water consumption outstrips the country's natural water sources. Only the development of desalination and the reuse of treated wastewater have permitted the regular supply of water.
The Water Authority says that the supply of water for agriculture has increased, and can expand further, but that restrictions on raising water tariffs for farmers are liable to delay financing costly development plans, especially in the periphery. It adds that the amount of fresh water allocated for nature doubled from 15 million cubic meters in 2010 to 31 million cubic meters in 2012.
Implementation of the reform of the municipal water and sewage companies during 2012 showed the need for improvement in the sector, including demands for streamlining the companies' operations and reducing their operating and administrative costs, in order to lower water tariffs for consumers. The Water Authority intends to shortly submit to the Water Authority Council a detailed proposal of changes.
The Water Authority said that a comparative study of water and sewage rates in other countries found that the cost of water in Israel is lower than in countries with more available natural water sources. The Water Authority implemented a decision by the Knesset Finance Committee to subsidize water tariffs for 250,000 people with special needs.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 4, 2013
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