12 Apr 2009

Mehan Speaks Truth!

PW sent me EXCELLENT testimonial [PDF] given by Tracy Mehan to the Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on "EPA’s role in promoting water use efficiency":
My basic message today is that any research agenda for water efficiency and conservation would be enhanced by a focus on the economics of water rates, pricing and their impacts on water use or consumption. There are many ways to reduce water use or use it more efficiently. You can invest in sophisticated technologies or you can simply take a shorter shower, but you must have an incentive to do so. Effective pricing strategies can be a useful demand management technique, subject to many variables and issues which I will address in my testimony today. Well-designed water rates can provide the incentive for greater water efficiency and conservation.
Mehan goes on to discuss how cheap US water is, the need for conservation pricing, the revenue-shortfall problem, and decoupling revenues from use (BONUS points!)

Mehan was there to ask the Subcommittee to spend some time on economics instead of devoting all of its attention to engineering and technology "solutions." Hear hear!

Bottom Line: Why spend $billions on "new" water supplies when we can just raise prices? People will find ways to use less water, so there's more water to go around...

1 comment:

  1. David,
    My brother, a professional engineer in civil engineering in the Northeast, and I had this same conversation yesterday. His views on water and its pricing correlate strongly with yours and Mehan's. Maybe there is a movement building.


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