Setting Service Standards for Water and Sewerage Corporations

Water and sewerage corporations are responsible for the distribution of water and sewerage services within municipal boundaries or within an association of a number of municipalities, according to the Law of Water and Sewerage Corporations. As of 2014, 55 water and sewerage corporations were operating in Israel.

The goal of this project was to define and set a minimum level of services for the water and sewerage corporations in order to address the inconsistencies arising from the variety of suppliers and the differing services they provided. Consumption charging systems, charges due to leakages and water meter defaults, customer service and public reception hours were among the areas where services to the public varied significantly.

Therefore, despite the constant rate set by the regulator and the fact that water is a public resource, the services that were provided to consumers varied widely depending on the municipality and the identity of the supplier. The need for consolidated service code was vital due the consumers’ lack of choice between suppliers.
In order to formulate service standards, we examined the existing arrangements in the field of water and sewerage supply as consolidated in municipalities' bylaws. In addition, we investigated service practices in similar operating sectors, such as electricity, multi-channel television services and mobile services. In some cases, we also carried out an international comparative analysis of water and sewerage services. 
Ultimately, we successfully created public impact by formulating service standards that were approved in legislation following a public hearing. The directives were published and today are mandatory for all the water and sewerage corporations. Some of the issues these directives address include: consistent dates of consumption charges; binding guidelines for setting up bills; obligations to notify consumers on excess water usage to reduce water waste; and an outline for public reception and petition management.

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