This is the letter for customers who have already had an Arad meter installed at their home, but did not object beforehand
Chief Executive Officer
Dear Matthew Wright,
Installation of Arad water meter
I wish to complain in the strongest terms about the Arad water meter fitted to the water supply to my home.
As a committed supporter of the campaign for equal rights for Palestinians, and supporter of International Law which prohibits the establishment of illegal Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian West Bank, I support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israeli companies which profit from or are complicit in this illegal occupation.
I therefore strongly object to:
- Southern Water purchasing water meters from the Israeli company, Arad, and
- Southern Water installing an Arad meter at my home.
Not only is Arad an Israeli company, but it works extensively in the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank – having installed 3,200 water meters in the illegal settlements of Ariel and the Barkan settlement industrial zone.
What’s more, Arad develops water meters for the Israeli state-owned company Mekorot. Mekorot has a monopoly on water supply in Israel and also operates and develops water infrastructure in Area C of the West Bank, where Palestinians are forbidden to develop even basic water infrastructure.
Arad is therefore an integral part of Israel’s apartheid water policies, which systematically deny water to Palestinian communities, whilst subsidising water supplies to illegal Israeli settlements. As a result of these apartheid policies Israel uses more than 80 per cent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 per cent though they are the majority population.
I would like to draw your attention to Amnesty International’s recent report which clearly revealed the extent to which Israel’s discriminatory water policies and practices are denying Palestinians their right to access to water (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/027/2009).
In your Corporate Responsibility policy you state that you will
“Consider the balance between economic, environmental and social aspects of our business decisions against sustainable development principles”
It is evident that your procurement process for your contract with Arad violated these principles – Arad is complicit in denying Palestinians in the OPT sustainable development because without an adequate water supply their agriculture and therefore their economy is irreversibly damaged.
Moreover, your business decision was technically flawed in that you did not choose the most suitable water meter for the purpose, and ignored the fact that there is a more suitable model available which is manufactured in the UK.
Is the company aware that, in the view of many experts in the field of water resource management, Arad meters are by no means state of the art or especially reliable, compared with others on the market? For example, the Jerusalem Water Undertaking has long replaced all household Arad meters with Kent meters, made by Elster in Luton, UK. Only Kent water meters read reliably under low flow conditions, which apply in much of southeast England.
Your second relevant statement of Corporate responsibility is that you will:
“Seek and respond to the opinions and wishes of our stakeholders”
At no point was I informed or consulted about the fact that Southern Water intended to install a meter manufactured by an Israeli company. As a consumer who is committed to making ethical choices, I do not wish my water fees to your company to be spent on an unethical company such as Arad. I did not buy fruit from South Africa during the Anti-Apartheid campaign, and I do not now want my money to support a company which is deeply complicit in a discriminatory Israeli water supply system which is decimating the Palestinian economy.
I feel strongly that my right as a consumer to make an ethical choice has been taken away by your failure to seek my opinion and wishes – and that your statement of Corporate responsibility is worthless.
I therefore request
- that you immediately review your contract with Arad, given their complicity in the development of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and the destruction of sustainable Palestinian communities in favour of non-sustainable Israeli settlements, which contribute to the over-extraction of water through the use of industrial farming practices and excessive domestic water use.
- That you review your procurement procedures and choose a UK based/ethically sound company for any future water meters
- That you remove my Arad water meter and replace it with either the old-style meter already in use in Brighton, or one manufactured a company that meets the requirements of your Corporate Responsibility policy, preferably a company based in the UK.
Cc Darren Bentham