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There was a film from the 1980s called Real Men. In the movie, a group of space aliens visit earth to share a secret on how to eradicate a chemical that was about to kill every human on the planet. The aliens wanted something in exchange for this information. It was something very valuable, and very rare to them. That item was a glass of water. Thankfully here on earth things have not quite gotten that bad. However with the way water prices are going to continue to rise into the future, the days of cheap water have come to an end, and using less of it may be the answer.
Since 2010, the average residential water bill has gone up 33 percent. In some cities it has inflated to 50 percent. A few of the top reasons for the price surge include the expensive replacement of outdated pipes, the expense of running a treatment facility, and the cost of the water itself. These expenses are then of course passed on to the consumer. One of the best ways to combat these high prices, is by practicing conservation.
Using less water not only cuts down on the utility bill, but will also prolong the life of a septic, and drainage system. When entire towns or cities use less, it means that municipal suppliers do not have to go through the expensive project of building new facilities, or expansion. Because of the huge expense involved in projects like these, avoiding them would mean significant savings that can be passed along to the consumer.
Many suppliers are also changing their billing structures to heavily charge residents that use excessive amounts. The trend in the past was to inflate fixed rates in a bill, so that no matter how much a resident used, they still wound up getting price gouged in the end because of a tax, or surcharge that already existed. If utility companies instead inflate their charges based on actual usage, which has been the trend, using less will then invariably lower a consumer’s bill.
For residents of states like California who have been plagued by a drought for years now, conservation is more or less a way of life. Watering the lawn, or washing a car has become something of a luxury. In times of high drought warnings, those practices are even illegal. While California’s situation is an extreme case, local municipalities, and the state government have recognized that conservation is the best way to combat a drought. California along with Arizona, New Mexico and a few other states have even built-in tax incentives for people who use conservation measures at home.
Instead of digging up the county to replace pipes, or tear up land in search of new reservoirs, good water practices should start at home. It would be a backwards notion to build more, and develop in excess, to solve a problem of having too little of a resource. In this way, conservation is a solution that makes sense. People can invest in some low flow shower heads, replace the toilet with a low volume flush model, or just inherit the practice of rinsing a razor blade in a small pool of water instead of a running faucet. These practices along with others are the conservation measures that can be taken, so that the rising price of water does not take over.
Opinion by Alec Rosenberg
Photo By Cajetan Barretto – Flickr License