Israel: Local authorities must cut water consumption : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Leiberman: Local authorities must cut water consumption By Tal Muscal

July 2, 17:45 -- National Infrastructure Minister Avigdor Leiberman today warned local authority heads today that if they do not cut their water consumption, the consequences will be felt on the national level.

"If we do not start reducing consumption now, the Kinneret will dry up," he told a dozen mayors and local authority heads at an emergency meeting in Jerusalem.

Leiberman blasted these officials for not keeping their promise to slash water use in their municipalities. "Since we last met in April, not only has there not been any conservation, certain authorities have shown a substantial growth in water consumption," claimed the irate Infrastructure Minister. "In certain cities, consumption has risen, with new public gardens and lawns being watered during in day light hours."

Leiberman said there was a clear promise that in 2001, the local authorities would conserve 100 million cubic meters of water.

He commended Rishon Lezion Mayor Meir Nitzan for cutting water consumption by 6.8 percent last month. Nesher Mayor David Amar was also mentioned for his town's 15% reduction in water use. "These two towns have been able to slash water use, while their population has increased," Leiberman said.

According to Omer Mayor Pini Badash, one of the main impediments to implementing water conservation projects is bureaucracy. "With all the good intentions, if it isn't the bureaucracy that keeps you down, then it's the Finance Ministry that sucks out your soul," he said.

Badash was not the only mayor to attack the red tape: others criticized the Finance Ministry for not allocating more funds for water conversation on the local level.

However Leiberman rejected their complaints outright. "With all due respect, if you will it, it is no dream, and whomever wants to conserve water will find the way, regardless of the bureaucratic problems."

Nevertheless, local authority heads called on the Minister to throw his weight behind legislative efforts to curve water waste. Most demanded new rules that would give municipalities new rights to fine citizens wasting water.

Shimon Tal, Infrastructure Ministry Water Commissioner said the crisis was going to get worse if the elected officials do not start cutting water usage in their areas. "Let's be clear, if we do not start conserving, we will have severe disruptions in the water supply very soon," warned Tal.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 02, 2001


When infrastructure systems are "at the brink", it doesn't take much to send it "over the brink", possibly with awesome cascading effects. Unfortunately, Israel's enemies in conflict (and possibly even war soon) are all too aware of this extreme vulnerability. Hence, this infrastructure disruption situation could dramatically synergize with the ongoing Middle East dispute and conflict, and augment the cascading effects.

-- Robert Riggs (, July 02, 2001.

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