The Water Authority has completed the first phase of a program to increase efficiency in local water and sewage corporations, which would save Israel NIS 98 million in 2014, the authority announced on Wednesday.
The Water Authority’s program, which has thus far involved the approval of work plans, investments and annual budgeting, aims to significantly improve efficiency in the sector and has involved comprehensive professional evaluations, according to the authority.
This effort to maximize efficiency follows a trend of doing so for the past few years, which, among other things, allowed the Water Authority to lower consumer water rates by 4 percent in January 2014, the authority said.
Major components of the program’s first stage is to include reducing manpower and slashing agreements with contractors, as well as decreasing leasing costs, improving customer service, changing management approaches and extensively rehabilitating infrastructure, the authority said.
The efficiency program will enable water corporations to continue making necessary investments in improving water and sanitation infrastructure, taking vigorous action in reducing water loss and improving the level of customer service.
The process of increasing efficiency in this sector is part of a broader reform process of the country’s local water corporations, a plan prepared by the Water Authority and approved by the Knesset in August 2013.
One of the main goals of this program would be to reduce the number of water operations from 55 local entities to 15 regional bodies, in order to bring about a tangible increase in efficiency, the Water Authority said.
Upon fully applying the streamlining phase of the program, other efforts to make portions of the water sector more efficient will continue, the authority added.
By implementing the regional water corporation model, the authority estimated that the country will benefit from additional savings of between NIS 80m.-100m. annually, and also enjoy further reductions in water rates.