There’s no incentive to conserve

By From page A14 | February 17, 2013

Passage of Measure I will eliminate any financial incentive for Davis to pursue water conservation strategies. Basic economics demonstrate that raising prices leads to reduced demand. So it is with water. If the price goes up, people will use less. Likewise, as water becomes more expensive, people are encouraged to invest to curtail water usage.

Passage of Measure I will undercut both of these conservation strategies. Price will no longer impact water usage. Rather, price will be determined by usage. The less you use, the more it costs.

Once the bonds are issued, the city will have to charge whatever is needed to pay for the bonds regardless of usage. If we conserve and cut usage by 50 percent, we will have to pay twice as much for the water because the city has to have the revenue to service the bonds. We could use no water and still would have to pay whatever is needed to cover the bonds.

Since conservation ends up saving nothing, the incentive to conserve or invest will be gone. In a community that believes in conservation, that seems a mistaken if not bizarre policy.

Stan Forbes


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