The Water Authority Council decided late last week not to raise water prices again as was expected to happen next month. Given the lack of rain and the uncertainty of the winter, the council decided it was not the right time to raise prices by another few percentage points. Therefore prices will remain at NIS 7.44 per cubic meter for the first 10.19 cubic meters used and NIS 10.755 after that. However, the price of water for agriculture, industry, hospitals and any other non-residential sector will rise in January. It has not yet been decided by how much the price will increase.
In the residential sector, prices have risen 32% in 2010 as part of an effort to make the price of water reflect the cost of producing it. Desalination has added severe costs to the process, both to buy the desalinated water from the private plants and to build the pipes to carry it around the country. Raising water prices is also designed to enable the water corporations to begin taking care of aging infrastructure