Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Reinventing the water wheel

In California, public officials are a little behind on their reading--about 238 years, since Adam Smith explained the Diamond-Water Paradox in Wealth of Nations;
In one of the most drastic responses yet to California's drought, state regulators on Tuesday will consider fines up to $500 a day for people who waste water on landscaping, fountains, washing vehicles and other outdoor uses.
....The [State Water Resources Control] board estimates that the proposed restrictions could save enough water statewide to supply more than 3.5 million people for a year. That's enough to meet the needs of nearly nine of every 10 Los Angeles residents.
The California Department of Water Resources estimates that cities and suburbs use about a fifth of the state's water, about half going outdoors. Agriculture is by far the greatest water user, accounting for 75 percent of the state's consumption.
Then wouldn't the obvious solution be to simply charge the market price to the users of the water? Is their a shortage of bottled water in grocery stores (where prices allocate supply according to demand)?

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