Tap water [illustrative].
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
After dropping 5% in 2014, water tariff rates are expected to fall another 10% on January 1, 2015, the Water Authority announced on Sunday.
“The stabilization of the water sector and the increase in regulatory demands of the Water Authority for streamlining all water suppliers formed the professional basis for a very substantial reduction in water tariffs for the second year in a row,” said Water Authority Director Alexander Kushnir.
The Water Authority Council is expected to officially make the decision to implement January’s 10% water tariff reduction at a meeting on Thursday.
In addition to these cuts, Kushnir said over the course of next year the Water Authority will consider further reductions, enacting the recommendations of the Balinkov Committee, which examined the economic regulations associated with the water sector.
Other changes will likely include the cancellation or reduction of high real-estate taxes on water facilities and the elimination of various subsidies, the commissioner added.
The 10% reduction for January is striking due to the increase in amounts of expensive desalinated water being used, indicating increased efficiency throughout the water sector, according to the Water Authority.
Reducing the costs across the industry has led to the ability to decrease domestic water consumption rates. Many local water corporations have managed to improve their water and sanitation infrastructure, and have succeeded in significantly reducing both water loss and operational costs, the authority said.
“We are working so that also next year, we will be able to advance conditions that will enable additional streamlining of all bodies in the water sector and will bring about additional reductions of consumer tariffs,” Kushnir said. “As is known, the water sector succeeded this year in overcoming the most extreme drought year in the modern history of the State of Israel and met all of its obligations.”