14 Mar 2008

Water Prices up 14%

That's the good news -- water in Southern California (and in general) is too cheap to encourage conservation. The bad news?
The MWD increase will translate into a boost of about $2 a month in the bill of an average household in Santa Monica and $1.40 a month in Long Beach, not including any local rate increases, city officials said.
Few people will notice an increase of $2/month for water, few people will use less water, and water utilities will have to cope with the same level of demand. They will react with "conserve water" advertising and "water cops", but that will not work either. SoCal's water supply will get stretched again and then we'll have a crisis.

Bottom Line: There are two ways to effectively save water: Raise prices for farmers (in Imperial Valley, they pay 1-2% of the urban water price) or raise prices for households (about $50/month will get people's attention). When water is too cheap to care about, we don't. Raise the price -- and we will.

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