A conference on:
The Water and Sewage Corporations in Israel:
Commercializing Water and Harming the Public or Improving the Infrastructure, Price, and Service?
The Center for Social Justice and Democracy in Memory of Yaacov Chazan at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
The Water and Sewage Corporations Law was enacted in 2001, resulting in a change in the institutional structure of the water sector. In place of the municipal water departments, the water and sewage corporations and an independent regulatory authority, the Water Authority, were established.
A new study by the Center for Social Justice and Democracy in Memory of Yaacov Chazan in collaboration with Mifal Hapais, the national lottery of Israel, examines the regulation of the municipal water and sewage sector and its effect on price and service. It also compares Israel’s policy to that of other countries. Water is essential and basic, and the court of justice has deemed the supply of water a basic right. Although, according to the researchers, the establishment of the water corporations should not be seen as the first step toward the privatization of municipal water, the law that governs their activity contributes to the commercialization of water and creates a growing dependence of individuals on the water market in order meet their needs.
In this conference we will ask what kind of structure the water and sewage sector needs and we will present the study’s findings and policy recommendations. We will discuss issues such as how regulation of the water and sewage corporations affects the existing institutional structure, commercialization, price, and service; what the nature of the relations between the local authority and the corporation are, from the standpoint of the inspectors and the inspected; whether it is necessary to limit the number of corporations; whether it is possible to lower the price of water and provide consumer protections without changing the institutional structure; and whether it is necessary to create a different kind of regulation.