Oil and Water: A Guest Post


David Zetland, the S.V. Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellow in Natural Resource Economics and Political Economy at U.C. Berkeley, blogged here earlier this week about the economics of water. This is his second of two posts on the subject.

Oil and Water
By David Zetland
A Guest Post

Over the past few months, newspapers, blogs, and television screens have been filled with stories of two precious liquids — oil and water. Although the stories seem similar (demand outstripping supply), they report fundamentally different means and success in coping with “shortage.”

Ironically, we are coping better with scarce oil — nearly 60 percent of which we buy from abroad — than scarce water, which falls from the sky.

Why such a contrast? Because oil is bought, sold, and marketed as a commodity. Water, in contrast, is treated as a “human right” that should not be allocated by price. Because scarcer oil costs more, quantity demanded falls to equal supply. Because scarcer water does not cost more, demand exceeds supply and rationing, misallocation, and hardship result.

Put differently, we would not have water shortages if water prices rose and fell with supply and demand. But prices do not change that way.

Most water users in the U.S. pay a price for water that reflects the cost of delivery. The price of water is actually zero.

Although the fixed costs of dams, pipes, etc. and the variable costs of pumping (20 percent of California’s energy is used for “moving water”) are large in aggregate, those costs are spread across many units of water. In southern California, for example, urban water customers pay about $3 for 750 gallons of tap water, most of which is imported from hundreds of miles away.

When demand exceeds supply, water managers do not raise prices; instead, they ask customers to use less. When “voluntary” conservation fails (often), managers send water cops out to ticket those who water their lawns on the wrong day, impose mandatory rationing of 20 percent, stop issuing building permits, etc. Although such methods do have some impact, their blunt nature affects people in odd, often unfair, ways.

Mandatory rationing, for example, is based on household use in prior years, which fails to reward those water misers who used less in the past and fails to recognize that the number of people in a household can change. It is also rather ineffective: Anyone who goes over quota pays an extra $1 per 750 gallons. That’s not much.

Students of bureaucracy and monopoly will note that water managers have little incentive to manage water efficiently. They can “declare” a 20 percent reduction in demand (nice round number) without worrying about the most efficient way to achieve it. They keep their jobs no matter the cost (e.g., business closures) or ineffectiveness of rationing.

Why haven’t water managers turned to higher prices?

First, because they are used to prices that reflect costs; second, because higher prices are politically difficult to impose; third, because their “public service” mandate tends to require that prices be set as low as possible and result in zero profits; and fourth, because many in the water business think that people will not respond to higher prices.

If water managers wanted to implement conservation prices that were, say, 200 percent higher than current prices, they would need political support (most urban water is supplied by public utilities; investor-owned utilities are regulated). Politicians would be able to support higher prices if the poor were protected (e.g., by giving everyone some water for free and charging more for additional water), if “excess” revenue was rebated (per capita rebates would be progressive), and if higher prices ended shortages and rationing.

Can higher prices reduce the quantity of water demanded? Yes — just as higher prices reduced the demand for oil.

When oil (gas) was “cheap,” we didn’t pay attention to how much we used. Instead, we paid attention to how fast our cars went, how long we’d be willing to drive from an affordable home to work, where to shop for cheaper stuff, etc. When prices rose (most notably when crossing the $4-per-gallon barrier), we changed our behaviors: S.U.V. sales plummeted, total driving fell, and people moved closer to work.

If water prices were raised to levels worthy of attention, we’d see the same reactions: people would reduce water consumption in the short run (not watering the sidewalk) and long-run (installing high-efficiency appliances, ripping out lawns, moving from drier places, etc.).

Let me repeat one caveat and add another: Higher prices need not harm the poor. If everyone got x gallons of water at a low price, only those who used more would pay higher prices. Second, these price-reform suggestions are relevant to urban water management, not water users everywhere. As many readers will know, agriculture consumes 70 to 80 percent of the water in the United States, and I have addressed agricultural/urban/environmental consumption elsewhere.

Bottom Line: We don’t have a gas shortage because gas is expensive; we will have a water shortage until water is expensive. Want more water? Pay for it.

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.



  1. Eric says:

    The economic argument on water breaks down for me because while I can live without oil/gasoline for days or even weeks at a time, it would be really hard for me to do the same with water.

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  2. CMSmaxi says:

    The issue with pricing water is that most individuals believe water should be a free resource, seeing as it is necessary for the most basic activities such as bathing. Society would view rising the prices on water as simply a way for companies to earn greater profits. They would not realize that the increase in price had the vital purpose of keeping the demand of water intact with the actual supply. If governments were to fund advertisements that educated people on the declining water supply, communities would be more willing to spend a bit more cash. Moreover, in order to encourage large firms and businesses to utilize lower amounts of water, the government could provide subsidies to those who used more efficient water installations. Like the author suggested, there should be an amount of water that is provided at a relatively low price and when people pass this amount, there should be a kind of tax on each additional 5 gallons or so. This would discourage people from using excess amounts.

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  3. Imad Qureshi says:

    Nice piece. In fact everything is plane common sense but only if common sense was so common.

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  4. Imad Qureshi says:

    I think first couple of thousand gallons can be supplied free of charge and then a dollar for every 20 to 50 gallons. I also think that poor countries that have real scarcity of water should charge their citizens under a similar mechanism.

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  5. Matthew says:

    The economic arguement breaks down because any change of the consunption pattern of the users of 20 percent of the water will not be as effective as changes to the users of 80 percent. And the industial/agricultural uses have all the political clout.

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  6. jim says:

    Our municipality just instituted demand-based water pricing, in which usage above a previously-established, household calculated “winter average” is billed at a progressively higher rate — usage over 25% of the winter average is billed at $8.55 per 1000 gal, while usage below the winter average is billed at $3.42 per 1000 gal.

    This is a massive improvement on low unit pricing and will likely be very effective at constraining water use in a drought-stricken area. However, the method for calculation penalizes residents with efficient winter use (i.e. water-saving devices in the house, front-loading washing machines, etc.) who also wish to water their lawns. They pay a higher marginal cost per gallon of irrigation water than those who run water like crazy all winter.

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  7. Nick says:

    Eric (#1) says, “The economic argument on water breaks down for me because while I can live without oil/gasoline for days or even weeks at a time, it would be really hard for me to do the same with water. ”

    That is why Zetland says, “Let me repeat one caveat and add another: Higher prices need not harm the poor. If everyone got x gallons of water at a low price, only those who used more would pay higher prices.”

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  8. Ben says:

    I agree mostly, and I think supplying cheap water for a set amount of gallons solves the fact that to a certain point there is a highly inelastic curve for water, but people will curb usage for frivelous water usage that has a more elastic demand curve.

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  9. Sacto Mike says:

    200 percent rate increases might not be enough. If memory serves, this was tried in Santa Barbara during the 1990s. The result was that laundromats went out of business while mansions did not notice.

    A more fruitful line of questioning might be, “Why are people living in large numbers so far away from the sources of water?” Visits to Needles and Redding, followed by visits to Sausalito and La Jolla might shed some light.

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  10. Nuclear Mom says:

    Excellent piece, agree completely with the logic.

    One caveat: You can’t charge by use if you haven’t measured use. There are areas where water usage is not metered (sometimes by law, which will need to be changed). These areas are shown to have far greater than average water usage. (Reminiscent of the consumption shift when calories are brought forcibly to our attention on menus.)

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  11. Will says:

    Electricity is a similar problem. The price is rising rapidly because of scarce generation, but it has not reached the point where most people consider conservation measures. Time of use pricing will eventually hit most places, but I predict it will have little impact on usage. Most people consider cheap electricity, whether it’s supplied by an investor-owned utility or public utility, some kind of a right. Staggered pricing could work there, too. The first 1000 kwh is one price, the next 1000 is higher, and so on. Investing billions in more generation to meet the demand at peak times is an expensive proposition.

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  12. David Zetland says:

    @Eric: Read CMSmaxi [Thanks also Nick!]

    @Matthew: I’m not talking about ag water, but urban water. Keep reading until you get to “As many readers will know, agriculture consumes 70 to 80 percent of the water in the United States, and I have addressed agricultural/urban/environmental consumption elsewhere. ”

    @Jim: You’re right. That’s why I favor per capita allocations — not allocations based on historical use.

    @Sacto Mike: We’ll see. Please send any documentation on the SB increase to me. I’m interested.

    @Everyone else (to 11 so far): I agree!

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  13. BrianCMS says:

    Very interesting piece and I have to say I completely agree. People keep saying future wars will be fought over water, that day won’t be pretty.

    The only time (most) people truly care about something is when it hurts their bottom line. If water is still as expensive as its cost, it won’t have much an effect asking for voluntary reductions. If water were to have a more substantial cost, people would be more conscious of wasteful uses.

    If it were to be charged in a way similar to electricity, like #11 suggests, it would force those who use the most, and probably waste the most, to change their habits, obviously a good thing. But the mentality that water is a right, not a commodity is hard to overcome, and those affected the most (big houses, big lawns) will complain the loudest…I can hear suburbia screaming already

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  14. AYouthIntheWilderness says:

    Fabulous. Until we learn to price water realistically it will remain an issue of great contention in the American West and increasingly, all around the world.
    Demand for drinking water is inelastic: demand for Olympic-sized pools is not.

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  15. Rationalitate says:

    “The economic argument on water breaks down for me because while I can live without oil/gasoline for days or even weeks at a time, it would be really hard for me to do the same with water.”

    The same could be said against food. And yet, the government does not have a monopoly on food production. And somehow, starvation in America is literally nonexistent, and food for the homeless/anyone who wants it is incredibly abundant in any reasonably-sized American city.

    (And yeah, you can say that we do have food shortages, and talk about Americans not getting enough nutrition. But that’s a question that has more to do with farm subsidies than with the market’s inability to supply people with food that won’t give them adult onset diabetes.)


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  16. PedroCMS says:

    Higher water pricing is very unlikely due to the fact that, as Zetland says, it is politically difficult. No matter how you look at it, economists will always dream up the solutions, but politicians get to decide whether they get passed or not. Higher water prices would work economically, but they just wouldn’t work politically.

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  17. WcH says:

    The more I read of Aguanomics, the more I agree with what David has to say. Keep it up!

    I would like to see some examples of communities that have significantly raised their prices as David has suggested (if there are any) and see what sort of actual impact that has had. What sort of order of magnitude of price increases actually results in significant water use reductions? I’d also like to know the sort of public messaging that municipal water utilities that have significantly upped their prices have used as well as how they have dealt with resulting revenue changes, since as David points out, most utilities can’t really generate a profit, nor can they run in the red; they are in a tight spot and run a risk of significant revenue fluctuations if the pricing is done poorly and not quickly adjusted as needed. With government bureaucracies, those quick adjustments aren’t always possible.

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  18. Tkwon CMS says:

    “Bottom Line: We don’t have a gas shortage because gas is expensive; we will have a water shortage until water is expensive. Want more water? Pay for it. ”

    This is why Washington is ruled by politicians. I bet that most people (me included) have a hard time imagining a world where there will be water shortage when water itself falls from the heavens (I am not saying there won’t be water shortage, but to try and change the mindset of consumers will be close to impossible)

    Water will be considered a commodity under two very unlikely scenarios: 1. Water becomes so scarce that people have fist fights on the local store for that last bottle of water. 2. When humans no longer have to drink water to survive.

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  19. maxicms says:

    Perhaps, one way to generate profits for those who control the water supply would be by requiring restaurants to charge a rather minor amount for the tap water, they otherwise would provide freely. The money that is driven from the pockets of these customers goes directly to the water companies. Thus, the restaurants do not lose, seeing as they are simply the middleman that transits the money from one hand to another. This would produce enormous amounts of profits, since tap water is ordered virtually everywhere. The only negative response might be that cosumers might simply order another drink rather than have both their typical drink and water as a side. This is only one of various solutions to the low water supply issue; in essence, the idea is where water was once provided “freely” a minor charge must now be implanted.

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  20. CamilaCMS says:

    What a great article! In this day and age, we are always thinking up ways to conserve and save our planet, by doing the same number of tasks with fewer car trips, turn off lights we aren’t using, buying biodegradable shopping bags to take to the supermarket. Water, however, is a different story. Showers are long, water is running while brushing my teeth, we flush in excess, etc. Water is just too darn cheap.

    However, I think that because water is so vital to our everyday chores, it is important to have it available to everyone. But if water was priced a little higher because of such a high demand, then those who use it excessively and wastefully will be more conservative. This solution works with other examples, including electricity and gas.

    This might be hard to put into effect because this policy may be seen as immoral and unfair to the populations of poor countries that wouldn’t be able to support the burden of such a cost. Plus, in these countries corruption is rampant.

    In other words, why should a poor farmer who uses water very carefully and only for necessary actions have to pay because I take 20 minute showers daily?

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  21. PedroR.CMS says:

    I definately agree with maxicms because there are multiple ways in which we can improve or control the various uses of water in order to make it more efficient, and therefore more abundant. But unlike oil, we need water for our everyday basic nessesities. So I believe that instead of incrementing the price of water as a whole, we should set a standard for what a typical household requires per month, and then heavily charge any properties that consume extra.

    Not only should gov. and corp. which control the water plants charge more for heavy water consumers, but they should certainly begin looking forward to alternatives such as producing hydroplants with de-salination capabilities so that freshwater resources won’t exhaust.

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  22. Shun-CMS says:

    A very interesting article. I don’t much about the environment science, so this might sound ridiculous, but… would water ever run out? I mean, I remember from gr6 science class that, water recycles around earth. evaporation (from any body of water – ocean…), transpiration, water vapour, precipitation – rain/snow, infiltration, ground water, lakes streams (body of water)… and this loop would continue. So, instead of worrying about water running out, maybe we should consider how this water can be more usable – that is, by making more water purification or filtration plant in poor countries. For instance, in the DR, when the tropical storm “noel” came last year, government around the world sent money and other supplies, but the Japanese government sent water purification machines. Even though, there is no food, with water, you will be able to survive. Fortunately, in the DR it is warm enough, so no need to worry from dying of cold (like in Alaska…). But they needed water. My point is, there should be more effort, and subsity put on for technological development for better water purification plants, use, or create something new like a “portable water” in solid form and by shaking it, changes to a potable water for example.

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  23. SD Dan says:

    A hundred cubic feet of water here in the city of San Diego costs less than a Big Mac. That’s enough for two weeks of showers. A shower costs me, at most, a quarter. That’s the same rate that the city charges for 12 minutes at a parking meter.

    Yet… I’m urged to conserve water. Why? So developers can build yet more suburbs around southern California? So golf courses can continue to have their plush greens? So that my neighbor down the street can continue to have his very manicured lawn in front of his trophy house? It’s not costing him much, maybe $10 more a month in water… and $75 for the gardeners to mow and blow. His wife just blew through $40 of candle accessories at Crate and Barrel. What’s $10 to him for curb appeal?

    So why should I conserve? Water is a cheap commodity, and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t use what I want? If I don’t use this cheap water, someone else will: for their golf course in Tucson, their swimming pool in Phoenix, their subdivision in Vegas, their rice paddy in Sacramento, their cotton field in Bakersfield, their alfalfa field up in Mojave.

    I’m going to use what I want. It makes no sense for me to conserve water, given the current pricing structure. What, forgo a shower a few times a month? That dollar I save is less than I tip for a beer at the neighborhood bar.

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  24. Ronaldo Assessoria says:

    Not only should gov. and corp. which control the water plants charge more for heavy water consumers, but they should certainly begin looking forward to alternatives such as producing hydroplants ???????

    imobiliarias santa maria

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  25. Brandon says:

    Add these great points to the fact that if purchased in small enough containers H2O can be more expensive than oil.

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  26. Ladi says:

    Nice post but here’s my take on this:
    Oil is really not a necessity. Besides, we have other alternatives to oil. So if the price jumps people would switch to alternative energy, or change their consuming behaviors.
    However, as for water….that’s the only “alternative”. Nothing can substitute for water. We need it to live. So i’m not sure if we are comparing apples to oranges here. Someone should shine more light on my blind spot.

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  27. DJH says:

    A lot of the places in the world with little or no potable water available, don’t really have market economies, they operate at a subsistence level. How is making water a market commodity going to help them? In what way would they pay for it?

    This is a good idea in theory, but not practicable in many of the places that need it the most.

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  28. A E Pfeiffer says:

    As Eric at # 1pointed out, we can’t survive without water. We can survive (albeit less comfortably) without oil.

    Raising the price of water will just mean that the rich can continue to waste water, while only the poor do their best to conserve dwindling reources. Focussing on price distracts us from the real issue – we all need water. By turning it into a question of price, we lose sight of the collective responsibility to ensure that our family / community / nation / fellow human beings have adequate access to water. Instead, anyone who’s prepared to pay the going price can basically use water as they like.

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  29. Logan says:

    why are so many (or at least a few) people here making the argument that “we can’t survive without water, so the economic argument to raise its price breaks down.”

    what? not charging more for a good as demand for it increases doesn’t fit with a free market model. you pay for food right? and you need that to live. and to say that you can go without gas… where do you live? you don’t consume plastic, polyester, gasoline, and any product made from crude oil? are people ignorant (not in the derogatory sense) of basic economics or are there really that many socialists in the US?

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  30. David Zetland says:

    @16/17: Higher prices CAN BE politically viable if they reduced water shortages (i.e., increased reliability) without harming the poor (i.e., some water free but pay a lot for more)

    @18: Your logic is faulty. Remember that their are “life” and “non-life” (e.g., drinking vs swimming pool) uses of water.

    @19: Free restaurant water is NOT the problem (in urban areas, it’s landscaping). Charging something for water that costs $3/750 gallons makes no sense for restaurants.

    @20: Water problems in poor countries are even more acute. See this post on India: http://aguanomics.com/2008/09/municipal-water-in-india.html

    @21: You are repeating my idea. Excellent!

    @22: You are right. We are worried about running out of “useful” water and conservation (via prices) is cheaper than more technology.

    @23: excellent point!

    @26: if you read the post carefully, you see that I propose SOME free water (“need to live quantity”) and then advocate higher prices on the rest (“need for lawn”), where people CAN use less…

    @27: If it’s not priced now, waste will be even greater. See India link in my comment to #20.

    @28: You also missed my pricing suggestion (that I’ve repeated four times — arg!): some water for free to all, but those who want to use MORE water pay MORE.

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  31. VidalCMS says:

    Pay higher prices for a technically free resource? I don’t think so. Water is not a scarce resource; the demand for water has not outweighed its zero value, simply because 3/4 of this planet is covered with water. Maybe only 3% is fresh water, and consumption is increasing by the minute. But, paying more than the cost for transporting water to an individuals household is unfair.
    Moreover, if we must pay more to use more water. What is the limit of water that one is allowed to use? How can one estimate the “correct” amount of free water given out to people? That limit would reduce every single second because more and more humans are born everyday.
    Even if 3% of the surface is fresh, once we have consumed all of it. The alternative is converting salt water into fresh. A rather expensive alternative, but the main point is that water will never run out. Water will never disappear from this planet; humans would disappear before water does. Hence, there is no need to raise prices for water because water will always be available.
    But, that does not mean people can just waste water. There is a different meaning between using it and wasting it. I am completely in favor of educating people to consume less water and be efficient (same with oil).
    Charing more to people who supposobly “use more” is unfair because all humans share water a world resource being world citizens.

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  32. mella says:

    Studies have shown that America’s ‘water footprint’ is twice the global average. Clearly, we’re using more than we need to sustain ourselves. Tiered rate structures could help increase our awareness of consumption patterns and make use-appropriate adjustments.

    A comment with respect to your suggestion that ‘excess revenues’ be rebated: I propose instead that those monies be invested in supporting necessary land use changes (establishing long-term floodplain buy-back programs, increasing pervious surface area, etc.), water quality programs (source control of pollutants, groundwater cleanup, etc.), and conservation incentives/education (ET meters, transitioning to climate appropriate landscaping, etc.) in urban areas.

    California in particular needs to work towards a more locally sustainable approach to water supply, but to do so will require more than a strong conservation ethic.

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  33. Dhammer says:

    How about giving discounts on water rates to buildings with green roofs, rain barrels or underground storage systems that keep water from going into the sewer? It drives me nuts to see thousands of gallons of water get washed into the sewer every spring (where we strain waste processing plants) and then see people use potable water to water their lawn come August.

    Also planning plays a big part – lets stop development in areas where the water levels can’t sustain development. I’m sympathetic to the guy who doesn’t want to conserve water when there’s a golf course getting built down the street. Parts of the south and southwest shouldn’t have people living in them – it’s good for the earth if we slow down development in certain areas.

    In many areas the water infrastructure is decaying terribly and millions of gallons are lost to leaky pipes. I’d actually prefer to see urban areas expand free water to residents and conserve water in the infrastructure.

    Huge amounts of water, used as a coolant are used industrial settings – raising the cost of water for industry will increase prices, and potentially hurt jobs. Maybe an acceptable outcome, but one worth noting.

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  34. htb says:

    This problem is not exactly about water. It’s about *potable* water, which is a very different issue.

    Imagine that you go outside to water the lawn. You turn on the sprinkler. You forget to turn it off. You discover a sodden mess of a lawn the next morning. You just wasted all that water, right?

    But it still exists, right? The water molecules did not quit being water molecules. They just can’t be conveniently reused for other purposes at this time.

    Water should be free — and it is: it falls out of the heavens periodically. We call it rain. Potable water should cost.

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  35. Joe Smith says:

    It makes no sense to deal with consumer agricultural and industrial uses of water separately. For the market to be efficient everyone in each watershed needs to pay the same base price for water plus the cost of delivery to that user. If we stopped subsidizing farmers’ use of water we would be better off.

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  36. DJH says:

    Zetland’s response (#30) to my comment (#27) was not a response at all, just a reiteration of his position, which unfortunately remains ignorant of what I already noted in #27, that people living at a susbsistence lvel will be unable to purchase water as a commodity.

    I can only surmise that his effort to commoditize water is really just like all other efforts to commoditize things that are not already commoditized … and that is to make people pay for things they are not currently paying for now, so that it costs them additional money to get nothing more than they already have now.

    This in turn only benefits governments (which use taxation to create these additional costs) and corporations and speculators (who are able to profit from the commoditazation). IOW it’s a money-making scheme, not an solution to a problem (as is claimed).

    I’m still waiting for the rational reason anyone would WANT his/her cost of living to go up, while his/her standard of living remains the same.

    … yeah, I didn’t think there was one. ‘Nuff said.

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  37. NicWaves says:

    The Bottom line is Energy. Like sep-12@12:59pm said, there is plenty of water on Earth, but it is very costly to make it potable and accessible to the ones needing it. If energy is cheap, like for most Americans, then they use more water, hence they have larger “water-print”.
    You need energy to make it potable, to create the machines to make it potable, to fabricate the equipment and pipes to transport it. You also need energy to manage waste water and transform it into potable or “safe” water.

    In summary, as long as there is a problem with energy price in the world, the question if water should be priced or not is less important.

    FREE ENERGY! Fusion?…when? … Solar: Free.

    Simple things solve complex problems.

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  38. David Zetland says:

    @31: Your comments make no sense. Should we not charge more when people eat more? The reason we have to charge for FRESH water is because it IS scarce (at least in many places). As to “educating” people to use less, you have more faith in education than I, who prefer to use price as a signal of scarcity.

    @32: I’m NOT in favor of directing excess revenues to “conservation strategies” because these projects often have negative net present value. Better to evaluate them on a strict profit and loss basis. (Also better to rebate per capita, since that’s progressive.)

    @33: Higher prices induce water wasters to use less water, patch pipes, etc. Again, I’d not link price to “correct actions” (green roofs, etc.) because those actions should be taken if NPV>0 WITHOUT subsidies.

    @34: Good point, but note that water in the lawn cannot be used as potable any more.

    @35: Good point, but many urban systems have a FIXED amount of water to allocate. Linking urban and ag watr is a good idea, which I address elsewhere.

    @36: People living at subsistence often get ZERO water when it’s nominally free and must buy it (for far more) or walk to it (for time cost).

    See this post: http://aguanomics.com/2008/09/does-free-water-help-poor.html

    “I’m still waiting for the rational reason anyone would WANT his/her cost of living to go up, while his/her standard of living remains the same.”

    Nobody WANTS that, but sometimes that’s what happens (more expensive oil due to political risk) or something we want (more expensive oil to reduce carbon emissions OR more expensive water to increase reliability). I am proposing higher prices to get the latter (reliability).

    @37: Solar is not free. Like water (free!), it requires infrastructure to convert into use, i.e., panels for solar (now at record prices) and pipes for water…

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  39. Sally Dominguez says:

    Thing is that if, as David proposes, the first x gallons are free then the process of bathing would by necessity become more reasonable bringing showers down to 4 minutes, sharing a shower :) and even using the showered water on the garden. You need to limit the freebies to help most people realize just how much water they are consuming. Only then might they stop washing the car and watering the garden with drinking water….crazy!

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  40. Miguel Barbosa says:

    Hi David,

    Great article. I have already linked to it from my website on worldly wisdom. http://Www.simoleonsense.com Wish you the best.

    Best Regards,
    Miguel Barbosa


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  41. david says:

    Water is the next oil, do we want to import that to? It Should Be Everybody’s Responsibility to Saving water. I just do not understand why people do not think it is important to save. I do know the movement is growing I just hope it is not too late. We really do not need to change major things to save. We can save water painlessly by buying product that help us save water and cut back on the silly things like letting the water run as we brush our teeth.

    For the big changes, we need to have a 3rd party monitor the cities and the water waste. They tell us we need to save water yet we pump millions of gallons out to sea everyday, let’s convert it into Grey-Water for outdoor cleaning and watering. Low volume shower heads, Dual flush conversion kits for the toilet should be handed out by the utility departments like we get or garbage cans.

    SelectAFlush has offered to give $5.00 off to California residence as a way to help save water during the time Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has it under a water crisis emergency. The coupon code is “California Water” I wish they had a coupon when I bought, but I am saving money on my water bill so “oh well”

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