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Friday, June 15, 2007

I'll use all the GD water I want, thanks!

It was only a matter of time, but the city of Indy has finally formally asked thousands of residential water users in the city to conserve their use and not water their lawns etc.... Just north of us, in the city of Noblesville, there is an enforceable mandate in place banning the use of water for such uses and is punishable by a fine.

It's true we are going through a heck of a dry spell, but I don't see what all the fuss is about. First of all, I pay for my water and I'm going to use it. The water company's failure to plan or add capacity is not my problem, and it is not business of the government sticking it's nose in my business.

Secondly, if people are willing and able to pay for water, then let them. The market won't let the well run dry - it'll just make water expensive. If you think about it, water from your faucet is not really a necessity in the short-run. You need a bath? Jump in the river once a week. You worried about dishes? Use paper plates temporarily. You want clean clothes? Have your drycleaners send them out of state. You thirsty? Buy bottled water.

Now you might say to me, "But I shouldn't have to go to those extremes." My response is, every use of water that you aren't using for thirst (in the short-run) is just a frill, a non-necessity - a need to fulfill a personal aesthetic (to smell good, to have cleaner clothes, etc - all frills) . And thirst (and even some frills) can easily be taken care of by the market with bottled waters from areas that are not experiencing drought.

Having a nicely manicured lawn is also a frill - but it is not necessarily a lesser or greater frill. It's relative importance to overall cleanliness etc is in the eye of the beholder. And how dare the government try to make us choose cleanliness over household aesthetic. If they want to conserve water and be fair about it - they just need to turn off the spigot altogether.

Otherwise, keep your nose out of my business.

1 comment:

Mike Fladlien said...

you sound like "the angry economist"...in the diamond-water paradox, the marginal cost of water is so low but the total utility is high...by charging for water you are decreasing the total utility...i'm just messing around...i wish i would have posted this...flad