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Water Consumption

 An indicator of pressures on sources of water supply 

Household water consumption in Israel is close to the average for OECD countries, but differences in consumption exist among the social clusters and between the center and periphery of the country 

Consumption of freshwater in Israel as a percentage of all water consumption decreased from 92% in 1990 to approximately 75% in 2008. This was a result of the increase in use of wastewater for agricultural purposes and the desalination of water for drinking, initiated in 2007. The expected increase in desalination of water will require greater attention to the environmental impacts of desalination. During the first decade of the 21st century, the trend of increased overall household water consumption continued, but household water consumption per capita decreased and stabilized at an average of approximately 105 cubic meters per individual annually. Household water consumption per unit GDP indicates a trend of relative decoupling – water consumption is increasing but at a relatively slower rate than the increase in GDP. An examination of water consumption per capita by social cluster reveals that water consumption in the tenth cluster is five to six times higher than consumption in the first cluster, and three to four times higher than the national average. Similarly, differences exist in water consumption between communities in the periphery and communities in the center of the country: in 2008 water consumption in established centrally located communities increased by approximately 40% more than that for peripheral communities. Water losses in municipal pipelines reflect the differences within the population: water loss results from faulty maintenance of pipes and from illegal water supply where the relevant authorities are weaker. Household water consumption per capita in Israel is not high compared to OECD countries and is in fact slightly lower than the OECD average. The outlook for 2030, according to the Water Authority’s master plan, indicates the continuation of current trends: an increase of approximately 40% in household water consumption and a decrease of approximately 6% in household water consumption per capita.

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