Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

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Cheap Water is Too Expensive

watery foundation copy In: Cheap Water is Too Expensive | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

Today Tom has put forth the thought that charging for water what it is worth, might be the solution to the water scarcity problem.  He lists a few straight thinkers who have suggested this, including Robert Knight, Robert Palmer, Cynthia Barnett, and Preston Haskell.

We might add one more:  Dr. David Denslow, “The inevitable solution to water scarcity: charge what it is worth,” :– “Raising the price today will save water for tomorrow, easing the shortage.  The sooner we start raising the price, the better.”  And he goes on: ” Study after study shows that raising the price reduces the gallons used.”

Our summation of this idea, posted back in Sept. 2014,  was this:  “This is perhaps the best article we have seen regarding Florida’s water woes, thank you Professor Denslow.”

On March 22, 2015 at 03:41PM, Tom at Watery Foundation published the following article:

The long list of impossible things includes a substantial water use fee. But, hey, who would have ever thought that a rich guy from Connecticut with a questionable background would move to Florida and plow $70 million into getting elected governor? Elected twice! The dream is alive! Some recent water use fee dreamers:

Preston H. Haskell, To protect Florida’s aquifer, put a price on water: “Pricing of water in a range of 50 cents to $2 per thousand gallons would be reasonable and effective.”

Robert Palmer, Florida Springs Council: “Collect aquifer protection fees for all groundwater and fertilizer uses.”

Robert Knight, Florida Springs Institute: “Groundwater use could be greatly reduced by collecting an Aquifer Protection Fee (APF) for all uses.”

 Cynthia Barnett, “Hey, America, It’s Time to Talk about the Price of Water“: “Pennies-per-gallon water makes it rational for homeowners to irrigate lawns to shades of Oz even during catastrophic droughts like the one gripping California.”

Out West, they are considering the idea too:

Matthew E. Kahn, Raise California Water Prices:  “Raise water prices and allow the magic of the market to play out.”

Jay Lund, Peter Moyle, UC Davis, How to discourage water wars: don’t give away water: “Prices could be set by the fair market value of the water made available, by having a regulatory agency fix or negotiate a fee, or by assessing the cost of compensatory environmental actions..” 

And for a historical perspective in Florida, a state use fee proposal goes back at least as far as 1986:

Christopher Howell, Northwest Florida Water Management District, Water Use Fees, an Equitable Allocation Approach: “The primary benefit of a water use fee is that it is based directly on water used, rather than property owned as with ad valorem taxation.”

A water use fee would make a big difference. It is the right tool for the job of effective water management.

Read this article from Watery Foundation at
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