|M.Sc Student||Miri Yunger|
|Subject||Socio-Economic Implications of the Distribktion of Water|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisors||Professor Emeritus Carmon Naomi|
|Professor Emeritus Shamir Uri|
Policies for allocation of public resources are usually guided by two types of objectives: objectives of economic efficiency, which seek to maximize the benefit from using the resource, and objectives of social equity, which seek to divide these benefits in a just manner among individuals and groups.
This research deals with the Israeli water sector, and presents a systematic way for definition and analysis of social equity with respect to water allocations. The period analyzed is the decade 1977/78 to 1987/88, at the end of which there were two years in which water allocations were curtailed due a severe drought.
Social equity in the allocation of water resources was defined in this research as equal distribution of benefits from water among different groups of settlements: kibbutzim and moshavim, old and new, and among different regions of the country. Measures of equity were water allocated and used, and subsidies on water prices.
It was found that long and short term water allocations indeed reflected the declared policy of equity, but annual allocations show considerable differences, favoring kibbutzim over moshavim, old over new, and settlements in water-rich areas over those in drier regions. These differences were reduced through the use of administrative regulations, when allocations were curtailed during the last two years of the decade studied due to the drought.
The settlements do not pay the full cost of the water they use, and subsidies increased substantially during the decade. Most of the subsidies were directed, following the declared policy, to the development regions in the periphery of the country. Subsidies showed no significant differences between settlements in the same region, but across the whole country younger settlements were more heavily subsidized than older ones.
It is recommended that as Israel’s water sector moves towards a market economy, in which efficiency will play a more dominant role, the objective of social equity, as defined in this research, not be forgotten.