23 June 2008

Drought Busters Fail

Water managers usually respond to drought by calling for voluntary conservation. When that fails (as it always does), they impose mandatory rationing and send out water cops:
To enforce the stiffer rules and penalties, the DWP will expand its "Drought Busters" team to 20 employees. These inspectors respond to called-in complaints and cruise the city in search of water wasters.

Since the Drought Busters were brought back in October, they have responded to 1,200 reports of water waste. So far they have issued warnings and guidance on conservation.

But some residents question whether inspections and fines are necessary - especially when the DWP inspectors make around $65,000 a year.
Besides being a waste of money, these water cops are just about the worst way to get people to save money.

Consider gas. Do you see any "gas conservation cops" out there, giving tickets for idling, low tires, driving to the store too often, driving an SUV, etc.? No. Why? Because high prices lead people to conserve.

Bottom Line: If you want people to use less water, raise the price. Honest -- it works!

2 comments:

Silas said...

This is one of the things that really makes my blood boil: underpricing water, so that rich people splurge on overwatering their lawns, the government sends out enforcement that's haphazard at what it does, and would be harmful even if they accomplished the job, and people STILL wonder why water gets wasted.

Hey morons: RAISE THE PRICE. When McMansioners are sucking down the high prices, they can decide for themselves if that kind of lawn is worth it, without any further supervision!

Anonymous said...

Drought busters is STUPID. You report a someone watering sidewalk..the idiots at DWP take your report and hours or days later they go investigate. The water has evaporated in a matter of 15min.They see no problem when they arrive!!! No one is fined.How is this program suppose to work??!!