Israelis to eat major water price increase

Monday, May 10, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

The head of Israel's national water carrier, Mekorot, on Sunday said that Israelis could expect a 40 percent increase in water prices by the end of the year.

Israelis already pay twice as much for water as Americans and the citizens of most European countries.

Mekorot CEO Ido Rosolio told The Jerusalem Post that the additional increase is necessary in order to pay for the integration of three new desalination plants into the current water distribution system.

Rosolio claimed that when government planners budgeted the desalination plants, they forgot to include the 2 billion shekels it will cost to hook them up to Mekorot's existing water lines and add additional pumps.

He said that since the government decided several years ago that "all costs of the water economy had to come from the price of water," the taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill.

On top of the new taxes, many water experts have explained that the three desalination plants are too little, too late, and while they may provide some extra water, much of the damage done to Israel's natural water reservoirs due to a lack of rain in recent years cannot be reversed.

The net result will be that Israel will still be woefully short on clean water, but Israelis will be paying much more to get it.

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