Water charges will fall by 3% in Israel from January 1, the Water Authority Council announced today. Charges have been cut by a cumulative 20% in the past three years. The current cut is thanks to a 16% fall in the price of electricity in Israel in the past year. Electricity is the main cost in water desalination, which produces much of the water consumed in Israel.
The Water Authority says that the cut can also be attributed to greater efficiency at the water corporations, which have replaced and renovated old infrastructure, leading to lower water losses through seepage. The Authority also states proudly that the cut in charges comes despite a substantial expected rise in payments for desalinated water.
Nevertheless, for all the forthcoming price reduction, it should be pointed out that even partial implementation of the recommendations of the Belnikov committee would allow a more substantial fall in water charges. The committee examined ways of streamlining the water industry in Israel in general, and state-owned water company Mekorot in particular. The committee's recommendations include legislative amendments, reforms in the production levies paid by all water producers, restoring control of the National Water Carrier to Mekorot, and more. Implementation of the recommendations is supposed to lead to a 7-8% reduction in water charges.
Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz said in response to the cut in water charges, "I welcome the reduction in water prices. Israel's water industry needs to continue to streamline, in order to provide to the public at large high quality water at reasonable process in the semi-arid environment of the Middle East."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 25, 2015
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