Israel Water Authority hikes prices following Comptroller criticism.
Updated: 3 days ago
The Israel Water Authority proposes raising water rates for households from NIS 7.39 per cubic meter for a family of five to NIS 7.71.
According to a document distributed by the Israel Water Authority, water rates for households are likely to rise by 4.44% in July from NIS 7.39 per cubic meter for a family of five to NIS 7.71. The Israel Water Authority says that the price hike is due to a number of factors including a 1.77% price rise in the basket of indices (the authority's index of the main components that make up its expenses including interest rates), the rise in the price of electricity, changes in operations at the Hadera desalination plant and a project for the Gihon Water Company.
The Israel Water Authority also proposes raising the price of water for the industry by 2.67% from NIS 10.51 per cubic meter to NIS 10.79 per cubic meter, and by 2.98% for public institutions to NIS 11.33 per cubic meter.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 23, 2021
Israel's Chronic Water Problem
Water is considered a national resource of utmost importance. Water is vital to ensure the population's well-being and quality of life and to preserve the rural-agricultural sector. Israel has suffered from a chronic water shortage for years. In recent years, however, the situation has developed into a crisis so severe that it is feared that by the next summer it may be difficult to adequately supply municipal and household water requirements.
The current cumulative deficit in Israel's renewable water resources amounts to approximately 2 billion cubic meters, an amount equal to the annual consumption of the State. The deficit has also led to the qualitative deterioration of potable aquifer water resources that have, in part, become either of brackish quality or otherwise become polluted.
The causes of the crisis are both natural and man-made. Israel has suffered from four consecutive years of drought. The increase in demand for water for domestic uses, caused by population growth and the rising standard of living, together with the need to supply water pursuant to international undertakings have led to over-utilization of its renewable water sources.
The policy for the water sector, particularly in the past decade, combined with the absence of adequate action facing the impending water shortage situation, has contributed to the severity of the present crisis.
The agricultural sector has suffered the most because of the crisis. Due to the shortage, water allocations to the sector had to be reduced drastically causing a reduction in agricultural productivity.
The current crisis has led to the realization that a master plan for policy, institutional and operational changes are required to stabilize the situation and to improve Israel's water balance with a long-term perspective.
Water Conservation and Water Use Efficiency
Water conservation is the most reliable and least expensive way to stretch the country's water resources, and the challenge is being met in all sectors. Public water conservation campaigns coupled with technical and economic measures are being applied to reduce consumption and to increase awareness of water scarcity.
In agriculture, the wide-scale adoption of low volume irrigation systems (e.g. drip, micro-sprinklers) and automation has increased the average efficiency to 90% as compared to 64% for furrow irrigation. As a result, the average requirement of water per unit of land area has decreased from 8,700 cum/ha in 1975 to the current application rate of 5,500 cum/ha. At the same time, agricultural output has increased twelvefold, while total water consumption by the sector has remained almost constant.
In the domestic and urban sectors, conservation efforts focus on improvements in efficiency, resource management, repair, control, and monitoring of municipal water systems. Citizens are urged to save water. The slogan "Don't waste a drop" is known in every home in Israel. Parks have been placed under a conservation regime, including planting drought-resistant plants and watering at night.
Water quality is an issue of equal importance to water scarcity, and water quality degradation is a considerable issue in water management. The quality of supplied water in Israel varies from very low salinity water (10 mg/l of chlorides) from the Upper Jordan River, 200 mg/l from the Kinneret, and more than 1500 mg/l from groundwater sources in the south. Groundwater exploitation is controlled to prevent seawater intrusion to the Coastal Aquifer and the movement of saline water bodies within the Karstic Limestone Aquifer.
Despite the limits on water withdrawal, due to global warming and frequent droughts, the regime of the natural flows is decreasing. At the same time, the influx of pollutants from human activity and negligence above the aquifers is increasing, resulting in the increase of minerals and other pollutants in the groundwater. Due to unbalanced exploitation and return flow from irrigation, an increase in the salinity of the groundwater has occurred in many wells.
The most advanced technology and practices are being applied to protect and minimize the pollution of water resources. Water conservation maps, restricting land use activities above groundwater resources, were produced to protect the underlying resources. Regular monitoring of water resources, including water recharge, water table levels, abstraction, salinity (chlorides), and pollution (nitrates) data are regularly monitored and reported. The data provides an effective tool for influencing the planning, the development process, and permissible emission of pollutants to the environment.
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.
It's time to save water - Save Water, We need it !!!!