Shower of criticism over Kfar Saba's water use

Despite Israel's water shortage and the current restrictions on watering, the city of Kfar Saba has approved the construction of no fewer than 12 private swimming pools for the homes of the city's wealthier residents, reports And the city itself is continuing to waste water - and to thumb its nose at the law - by watering its public gardens, and this in the heat of the day. According to the report, the city's local Planning and Construction Committee recently approved the construction of 12 new private swimming pools, mostly in the upmarket Vatikim and Eliezer neighborhoods and in the center of the city. Some of the pools approved are to be more than 400 square meters in size. A municipal spokesman said the water in the pools "does not have to be replaced at high frequencies - once a year at most." The spokesman said most of the pools were smaller than 20 square meters and were shallow, and that their approval was in accordance with the law. Meanwhile, local residents have complained that the city is ignoring the current ban on watering public gardens and is continuing to do so, and even worse, in the middle of the day. Greens faction leader Guy Ben Gal said the city was thumbing its nose at the instructions of the Israel Water Authority, and that it was "regretful" that the city was not providing a better example to its residents. He said it seemed that the city would not change its ways until it received a heavy fine. A municipal spokesman said the watering was done in an area where development work had recently been completed, and that the economical drip system had been used. But the spokesman added that holes in the pipeline had led to extra water leaking out, and that the city's Gardening Department was taking care of the matter.