Israeli Bureaucracy Again Impinging on Foreign Citizens Regarding Water Charges
Why are the water corporations imposing more stringent requirements on foreign citizens than Israelis?
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In light of the severe drought which the State of Israel has experienced in the past years, it was decided to limit the consumption of the monthly water supply per person. The water corporations implemented a regulation that would give each person only three and a half cubic meters per month at the discounted tariff and any amount above this would be charged the higher rate.
The regulations also established that every home would be considered as having 2 people in the property (which means every home would be given 7 cubic meters at the reduced rate and any amount over that at the higher rate). A family with more than two would have to update the number of people living in the property to avoid paying the higher tariff for usage above 7 cubic meters of water.
These regulations are unreasonable for several reasons. First, there is almost no one who can get by on 3.5 cubic meters of water a month, so everyone ends up paying the higher rate for some of his water. We wonder why don’t the water authorities try to stop the 60% loss of water due to leaky and aging infrastructure instead of hitting water users with a higher cost?
The regulations also impose an unfair burden on foreign citizens. While Israelis have to update the number of people in a property with regular IDs only once, a foreign citizen who wishes to update his name on the property he is renting is required to present his passport with a valid Israeli visa to the Water Corporation each time he renews his visa. Each time his visa expires, he is required to go through this annoying bureaucratic requirement again.
Israeli Shortcut spoke to the Gihon Water Authority concerning this discriminatory requirement. The purpose of the regulation to update people was to prevent them from being charged a high tariff for normal consumption and was intended to reduce water consumption in drought years but why should this obsolete procedure keep continuing? Even taking in consideration recent drought years, it is only right that every household‘s water consumption should receive an equal amount and at a reduced rate regardless of the number of persons.
These regulations unfairly impinge on families who frequently host more people than their immediate family members. This includes those who host guests for Shabbos and holidays or who take in a married daughter who gave birth, as is customary in many Jewish families.
The regulations with their demand that foreign residents keep updating the water company when they renew their visa are especially anomalous. The State of Israel should be proud of every Jew who wishes to settle in it, and should try to ease the onerous bureaucracy that compounds their many difficulties in acclimatizing to Israel.
Israeli Shortcut’s chairman urges the water authorities to change the regulations to ease foreign citizens’ stay in Israel and thereby indirectly encourage their immigration to Israel.