"This bill is directed towards a practice of conservation rates that I think are obscene and predatory," Hays said. "And I don't want to have any of my constituents subjected to such a rip-off. It is my plan to stop it."This politician must be thinking either:
- The water company is ripping people off. Prices should not rise above the cost of service, or
- Heavy water users should pay the same per unit as light water users.
But, wait, there's a third explanation:
Hays said the state should fine people if they're wasting water rather than let companies generate revenue by charging higher rates based on consumption.This is not just a terrible idea (like paying a fine for driving an SUV AND paying the price at the pump), but also extremely inefficient -- how many extra people -- and time -- will be needed to administer a system of "fair" fines.
Once again, I am amazed at a politician's lack of foresight.
The debate from the other side ("we need higher prices to penalize heavy users") is not much different.
Bottom Line: Stop squabbling over "moral" tariff structures and fines. Charge a single price for water that's high enough to prevent shortages (like a price for gasoline). That price -- presumably -- will cover costs. Excess revenue can be rebated to customers at the end of the year (per meter).