Friday, December 18, 2009

The Water Shortage Myth

In the article "The Water Shortage Myth" the author proposes a rate system where heavy consumers pay more and that the rate system be tiered as volume goes up until the cost increases to the point where demand falls.   I think his argument has merit and would like to see water prices reflect value delivered.  I disagree with giving the base allocation for free. I think everyone should pay as this is part of encouraging the all consumers to control consumption and pay their own way in society.   Otherwise it is a thinly disguised  Robbin hood game of wealth reallocation which introduces it's own problems.

The most important element of his argument is at the very end where he talks about re-investing the excess revenues to improve the water system.  This is critical as it could deliver the money needed for infrastructure improvement and leak repair.     I would love to see the concept extended to work in areas where the largest  mass numbers of people are below the poverty line and are content with 10 gallons per day because these are the areas which will benefit the most from drastic improvements in water infrastructure.

My big question is how do you work agriculture uses into his scheeme.  We all like to eat and the farmers need water to deliver their product?  None of us want to pay $30 for tomato which would be the result if we made them play on the same rate structure.   One the other hand we do want to encourage the adoption of water wise agriculture practices.

A2WH a system which delivers water from the air using solar energy will work well in an environment where the value of water is represented in it's cost so I would love to see a scenario where people are paying $0.10 per gallon to fill their pools.

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