Israel postpones ‘drought tax’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A "drought tax" scheduled to go into effect in Israel to force households to conserve water was postponed.

Though Israel’s Water Authority said the new levy took effect July 1, the Knesset Finance Committee postponed a vote on the final details until next week, meaning it will not take effect until Aug. 1.

Under the tax, the price of water will more than double for usage above a set ceiling, which likely will be 16 cubic meters a month for a family of four. Average household water use in Israel is reported to be 4.8 cubic meters per person.

Water over a certain usage is already taxed at a higher rate.

The Knesset subcommittee working on the issue has been held up over requests for exemptions from the new tax, as well as figuring out if it will negatively affect larger families.

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