Special Bureaucracy for Foreign Citizens is “Reasonable”?
The Water Authority says that the bureaucracy imposed on a foreign citizen is a “one-time action” and is reasonable and balanced.
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In light of the severe drought experienced by the State of Israel in recent years, it was decided that to reduce water consumption, the monthly water consumption per person would be limited to only three and a half cubic meters per month at a reduced tariff and beyond this the higher tariff would be charged.
Each property will be automatically considered as having two persons in the property. A foreign citizen who is renting and wishes to register his name on the property and add to the number of persons (to get the lower water tariff for them) has to show the water company a passport with a valid visa in addition to other documents required from every Israeli citizen. Besides providing his rental lease, he has to prove his place of residence in an affidavit authenticated by an attorney.
What do these onerous bureaucratic requirements accomplish? Israeli Shortcut wrote a letter to the Water Authority asking: "Why does the corporation require an authenticated affidavit only from a foreign citizen who does not own his property?”
The Water Authority's legal bureau replied that while Water Regulations (Recognized Water Determination 2016) stipulate that foreign passport holders living on a property are entitled to benefit from reduced water tariffs, since foreign citizens do not appear in the Population Registry, they are required to bring added proof of residency.
They added: "For a person who immigrated to Israel to live here instead of staying a short time, it is a one-time reasonable and balanced requirement.”
Israeli Shortcut wrote the Water Authority again and showed that the conditions required of foreign residents renting properties do not even achieve their purpose. A foreign citizen who has a student visa may be living in his institution’s dormitory so a student visa means nothing. The only proof that one is living in a property and paying for water is a rental contract or document of ownership, but here the foreign citizen is discriminated over an Israeli by having to provide an authenticated affidavit proving his residence. How does this prove the person and his property’s identity for the water supplier?
Israeli Shortcut believes the State should be proud to give a discount to any Jew who wishes to live in Israel and should eliminate bureaucracy demands hampering this, particularly those that accomplish nothing.
We hope that just as the Water Authority’s previous response was responsible and appropriate, this time too they will give this case the proper consideration and make the necessary changes.