CECI links political instability to fumbling water market - Israel Environment, Ynetnews

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(Illustration) Photo: Shutterstock
(Illustration) Photo: Shutterstock

CECI links political instability to fumbling water market

Report by Citizens' Empowerment Center in Israel says water market's main problems is high turnover of ministers; lack of clear long-term strategic vision

Billie Frenkel
Published: 05.08.12, 08:31 / Israel Environment

A study released by the Citizens' Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI) finds a disconcerting link between the relatively high government turnover in Israel and the country's inability to truly devise viable solutions for its water crisis.


The report also echoed concerns raised by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss in his recent report. Lindenstrauss found grave failures in the governmental management of the water market in Israel, particularly in areas pertaining to desalination projects.


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The CECI report said that the government's failure to properly handle Israel's water crisis goes back some 20 years.


Alon Cohen for CECI told Ynet that one of the local water market's main problems is the high turnover of ministers tasked with overseening the field; along with low prioritizing of water-market decisions and projects and what the report defined as "lack of long-term vision."


The report found that various governments have consistently failed to adhere to the State Comptroller's recommendations on the matter since the 1990s; and citing as an example the fact that between 1999 and 2006 Israel had eight infrastructure ministers, each serving a mere 10 months in office.


The CECI further found that since 1988 no master plan pertaining to the water market has been executed in full – and some were shelved altogether.


The only plan to be executed in part so far was adopted by Ariel Sharon's government in 2002 and concerns water desalination projects.


'Deadlock's link to politics clear'

Cohen stated that he found "an undeniable link between the system of government and the lack of execution of plans regarding the water market."


The report also quoted the finding of several commissions of inquiry, all of which concluded that the high ministerial turnover means no minister has ever had sufficient time to truly study any past recommendation, initiate or implement reforms or realize long-term goals.


The findings also state that one of the Israeli water market's main problems is the lack of clear strategic vision.


"It's a fact that until now, no government has set clear goals as to the scope of desalination, industry and agricultural development, setting areas for agricultural preservation etc. actually impedes the infrastructure minister's ability and the professional bodies to actually improve the water market's situation," he said.



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