(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Water Authority Council could be raising household and industrial water prices by at least 11 percent from as early as January next year in response to increased desalination and infrastructure costs and planned budget cuts in 2008.
"It's a necessary update to save the water market," Uri Shor of the Water Authority told The Jerusalem Post. "It will only amount to a few dozen shekels per month for large quantities of water, but for us it's significant. Prices, though, will rise gradually."
Shor added that despite the fears of a dryer than needed winter, the price hike was unrelated to that eventuality.
The Water Council of the Water Authority is currently in the process of deciding whether to raise the price of water at the beginning of 2008. A draft listing the proposed price increases has been put up on the Water Authority's Web site to enable the public to respond prior to the decision as required by law. The public has another week to file their positions before December 6 at noon.
Part of the reason for the price hike is because the government has ordered the authority to reduce its 2008 budget by NIS 415 million and to make up for increased costs of water production. The whole water infrastructure has grown increasingly more expensive because of desalination and other infrastructure improvements.
The proposed price changes would represent increases of around 11% for household water use and around 17% for industrial and agricultural use. However, the Water Authority said that prices might change again depending on actual usage in 2008.
Proposed increases in household water prices:
â€¢ For the first eight cubic meters or any part of them NIS 3.832 per cubic meter and in Eilat NIS 3.318 per cubic meter.
â€¢ For an additional seven cubic meters, NIS 5.353 and in Eilat NIS 4.634 per cubic meter.
â€¢ For each additional cubic meter over 15 cubic meters, the price would be NIS 7.443 or NIS 6.444 in Eilat.
â€¢ If a household uses less than three cubic meters , they will pay a flat monthly fee of NIS 7.63
â€¢ For an ornamental garden, NIS 3.977 or NIS 3.443 in Eilat
If prices rise, they would do so both in the cost to municipalities of buying water from Mekorot, the Israel water company, and in prices to consumers so as not to drain the municipalities of much of their funding.
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