Monday, May 23, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

Today was filled with lectures related to water, or more specifically, water management. Water management in south Florida. Water management in the Netherlands.

The information was a lot to take in, but there was a lot of good details in the presentation. It sounds like the Netherlands has a generally good relationship among different government organization. Not that everyone gets along perfectly, but it sounds more harmonious than the relationships of similar organizations in the United States... and the Netherlands seems to get more done with regards to water management.

The presentations also mentioned that per capita water usage in the Netherlands is about a third of that in the United States. One idea to decrease American water usage is through a tiered water billing system, where water gets progressively more expensive as you use more. The speakers argued that these financial consequences generally don't work unless they are very high (since the water bill makes up a miniscule percent of the average household expenses), but then why do so many people complain about small billing hikes? It makes me think that the perception of an increased billing amount is higher than the actual effect, if the earlier comments are correct. I do, however, also acknowledge that in the US there are lower income households that feel larger impacts from rate increases, but what stops us from raising the price of water exponentially for volumes used past an acceptable household value?

I have a few ideas, but just throwing the thought out there.

So the overall question is: How do we extend the water supply?

Maybe tiny sinks are the answer...
-Caryssa

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