Water quotas and bad socialism

Israel currently suffers from serious water shortage.  Efforts to alleviate the shortage are underway.  One of the efforts is getting people to consume less water each month, by providing them with a certain quantity of water at one price, and any excess consumption costs much higher price.

This is bad socialism and is harmful to the liberty of people, because water bills are by apartments.  So people need to declare how many people live in an apartment, and if someone moves to another apartment, the water bill payers of both apartments need to declare this change of living place.

A better solution would be to do what was done with bread few years ago.  Economically, it was necessary to raise the price of bread.  It was handled in a better way - the price was allowed to rise, but people, who live on welfare, got few extra NIS each month, to cover the extra cost of bread, so that they won’t be worse off.

In the case of water, poor people at any case lack the capital for investing into water saving measures - plugging any leaks in the water pipes, installing water flow limiters (חסכמים) in the taps, shower sewage recyclers, rain water collectors, etc.  Well to do people can afford to make the investment which will reduce their water consumption - but need economic motivation to do so.

My suggestion is to provide water to everyone at high price.  No need to report how many people live in each household.  No need to compute water quotas for provision at lower price.  However the monthly payments to people on welfare and on fixed budgets are to be adjusted upwards so that they’ll not be worse off than they were before.

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1 Comment »

Comment by Ira
2010-10-30 11:15:54

and in order to know who needs the water subsidies, they only need to know how many people are in the house AND how much they make. simple….

No, the way do do this is not to give away money, but create other incentives for saving. getting subsidies on water saving devices is not a bad idea, putting “gray water” equipment in new buildings by law, and, alas, managing population growth. No way around that one.

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