Water Prices Reportedly Set to Drop, But How Far?

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
A view of the Sapir Station of the Israeli Mekorot National Water company, near the Kinneret.  (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)
A view of the Sapir Station of the Israeli Mekorot National Water company, near the Kinneret. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

Deliberations over a reduction in the price of water to the Israeli consumer fell through on Thursday, as an interministerial body failed to decide on a scheme to revamp the nationwide supply system, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The committee had been expected to recommend closing down the water corporations, appointing a government agency to manage water, and reduce prices 9 percent beyond the 10% cut already scheduled to take effect in January.

Some 55 water corporations were established by the state 14 years ago to improve services, but persistent complaints of exorbitant prices have forced a re-examination of the arrangement. A committee to review their performance was appointed six months ago by then-finance minister Yair Lapid and Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom.

“The model that will be agreed upon will have to be one that will bring down the water prices and build a mechanism for supervising the price of water,” said MK Miri Regev, who heads the Knesset Interior Committee. “We have to decide on a model to manage water efficiently that will remove the heavy burdens from the public.”

In the meantime it remains uncertain how much more the price will go down or when. Recommendations will require Knesset approval, which won’t be forthcoming until after the until after the March 17 elections.