Water conservation efforts rise to a new level: A new tax on water came into effect Tuesday, in hopes of making Israeli household take the need to stop wasting water a little more seriously.
The surplus consumption levy, dubbed the "Drought Tax" was the Water Authority's brainchild and suggests a scaled levy on surplus water use.
The Water Authority prices a cubic meter of water for private use at NIS 7.8 ($1.99). According to statistics, basic water consumption – i.e. the amount used by the average family of four – stands at 15 cubic meters of water a month. The proposed tax prices each additional cubic meter of water between NIS 16 and NIS 20.
Nevertheless, both the levy and its scaling – which are a part of the arrangements bill, traditionally submitted to the House along with the budget bill – have yet to be approved by the Knesset.
The majority of the Knesset members object to the new tax, saying it is draconian and miscalculated. Members of the House are currently negotiating with the Water Authority in hopes of increasing the basic consumption level to either 16 or 20 cubic meters.
The ministers are also seeking to defer the tax's implementation from July to August or September; a move The Water Authority is against, saying the need to conserve water is most dire during summer. The WA countered the claims of radical taxation, saying that only a third of the water consumers would pay the de facto tax.
The WA also said that the purpose of the tax is to make people aware of the amounts of water they use and encourage them to cut unnecessary waste of the precious resource.