Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Costly Solution



My original premise, posted a while ago, was that increases in Arizona population were aggravating the level of water use.

A response from Dr.Gary Beverly was "How do you control population?  You can't deport people"
The standard response from developers is to demonstrate "100 years assured water supply."

My response to Dr. Beverly was to price (or tax) water to such a level that fewer people would move to Arizona.
He seemed to agree.

In discussions with several friends, this solution was not taken favorably.  The feeling was that the "poor" would bear most of the burden.

Water is a commodity, however...a very limited one with undefined quantities, at least in Arizona.  As a limited commodity it should be priced or taxed according to its value.

As a start to help solve the question the state should probably commission an engineering/consulting firm do an inventory of state water resources. That's just for a start.
IBM, for one, undertakes such huge projects.

As an example, I understand (fr.Beverly) a neighboring town, Clarkdale, has cut per-capita water use by 50% through increasing prices. Commodities are the same as other items in the US economy...luxuries are expensive.  Water in the desert is a luxury.  

I'll stick with my original premise...if you want to know what the desert will support just "look out your back door."  It's not much.

In the future we'll be lucky to consume only our past average of 0.5 acre ft. per person.

Ultimately, the choice will be between the cotton fields in the southern part of the state and water to wash your dishes.  70% of water is consumed by agriculture...your choice.