Saturday, August 25, 2012

Two exotic water options

Matt Kahn rightly call attention to the fact that public discussions of "drought" never mention the water pricing option.  Subsidized state-allocated water is surely a big part of the problem.  But politicized allocation is deemed by many to be somehow superior to market allocation.

Today's WSJ includes "Your Are Drinking What? ... With water in short supply across the country, it's time to take a serious look at recycling sewage."  Even the WSJ's writer cannot bring himself to note the pricing alternative.  Yes, short of privatization, state agencies can price.  They do own the meters.

But pricing is still viewed in many quarters as exotic or sinister or not "fair" -- to the extent that drinking the treated urine of the population at-large is a more palatable option.

I am OK with the science of recycling wastewater.  If we can discuss it in polite company, perhaps we can also discuss the pricing option.