Monday, August 07, 2006

The Cost of Water

For the record, I live in a townhome complex of 32 units on the city's near north side. The association sent out its annual report recently, and our total cost for water was $5,000. That works out to about $13 per unit per month. It's so cheap we don't even pay the bill individually. It's just covered as part of our association fees.

It's little wonder that the thought to conserve water in our city hardly crosses most of our minds. When I saw that dollar figure I couldn't help but think of Debra Shore's comment about why she wanted to run for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner this November. I've posted this quote before, but I'll repeat it here:

Over the next 20 to 25 years we are going to find substitutes for oil -- there are substitutes for fossil fuels. There are no substitutes for water. It's an irreplaceable resource. And I think the eyes of the country and the eyes of the world are going to turn to those Great Lakes communities that sit on 20 percent of the world's freshwater.
I'm coming to believe that we must attach costs to our natural resources that reflect their value and encourage us to protect them, just like I believe we must attach costs to our garbage to encourage us to reduce it.

Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science & Engineering Center. Find reference here.

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