Water Authority, Agriculture Ministry to up water quantities for farmers

Water quotas for farmers to increase more than 20% in hopes to achieve more effective, stable agricultural operations.

Water irrigation 521 (photo credit: reuters)
Water irrigation 521
(photo credit: reuters)
At the start of the new year, farmers will receive an increased quantity of water for agricultural needs as well as a uniform price for the water they consume, the Agriculture Ministry and Water Authority announced on Sunday. 
Farmers will be receiving an allocation of water for three years in advance, as well as a substantial increase in water quotas – an increase of more than 20% in comparison to the water allocated for 2013, the authorities explained. In addition, rather than pricing agricultural fresh water according to three different levels, the Water Authority will be offering one standard price that is only 3 agorot more than today's lowest rate.
By implementing such new measures, the hope is that farmers will be able to operate more effectively and with a greater sense of stability, the authorities explained.
"These are important steps that generate a horizon of certainty for farmers by increasing the amount of water available for use by them and by regulating the price, which will help crops and work in an optimal manner," said Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir.
Regarding the pricing adjustments, farmers that were required to pay the two higher rates to receive their water will no longer need to so. Meanwhile, the amount of water allocated to agriculture in 2014 will be 585 million cubic meters, as opposed to 530 million cubic meters in 2013, the Agriculture Ministry and Water Authority explained. From now on annually, the allocation figure will range between 570 and 640 million cubic meters, the authorities said.