14 April 2011

More supply doesn't mean no shortage

Emily Green blogs on the lifting of use restrictions in Southern California in response to the heavy rain and snowfall this season [NYT too!]:
"We anticipate residential consumers and businesses throughout the Southland will continue to use water efficiently," said Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
My observation is that greater supply does little to prevent shortage, which results from demand exceeding supply.

Will people "do the right thing" as Kightlinger hopes? Maybe. Or maybe they will demand "too much."

It would make more sense to raise prices when water is scarce (recently and in the future) and lower them when water is abundant (now and in the future). Supply and demand will balance, and there will be no shortage.

Bottom Line: "One hand clapping" water management does not produce applause.

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