Israel Water Authority hikes prices following Comptroller criticism

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Water Authority: Water bills will go up 3.25%, after falling by an average of 30% over the past five years.

The Israel Water Authority has announced that our water bills will go up 3.25%. The announcement follows severe criticism by the State Comptroller of the Water Authority's policy. The State Comptroller blamed the Water Authority for the state of the water sector in Israel.

The Water Authority explained, "By law, the prices of water and sewage treatment reflect the real cost of the water, and are revised twice a year: at the beginning of January and July. Before the upcoming price revision (January 1, 2019), the Water Authority council discussed the revision needed at its meeting today, and decided to publish for public comment, starting on October 28, 2018, the rules for water rates in 2019, which require an average increase of 3.25%... Most of the financial burden from the increase is in the second rate, which is higher."

The water bill is based on two prices. The price for a recognized quantity (the lower price), which is measured according to the number of people in a household, will be NIS 6.82 per cubic meter as of January 2019, instead of NIS 6.61 per cubic meter at present. The price for any additional quantity of water beyond the recognized quantity (the higher price) will be NIS 12.85 per cubic meter, instead of NIS 12.44 per cubic meter.

"The increase in price is necessary primarily due to a large increase in the quantity of desalinated water purchased from desalination plants (due to the dire state of natural water resources) and substantial expansion in development of water and sewage infrastructure in the national and municipal water sector (Mekorot National Water Company, Cities Association/Sewage Purification Facilities, local suppliers, and water and sewage corporations). In addition, the revision reflects the rise in the Consumer Price Index from July 2018 until December 2018 (projected index), including an increased pace of investments for reducing the effects of the prolonged drought," states the Water Authority, which also stresses, "The 3.25% price increase follows an aggregate 30% average real decrease in water prices in the past five years, due among other things to the reduction in the unrealistic number of water corporations."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 25, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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