[Vision2020] Water costs was Re: name of this list & re:water

Nils Peterson nils_peterson at wsu.edu
Mon Apr 24 09:15:49 PDT 2006

Bonte and Carcich had an interesting thread over the weekend on the
economics of Moscow water. I think the question posed is fairly easy to ask
the City. What are the fixed and variable costs of providing a unit of
water? How does the water fee charged compare to the costs incurred?

If its all fixed cost, then conservation will drive up the cost of a unit of
water. If its all variable cost, then conservation won't drive up unit cost.

If the city profits from selling water, then conservation might cut into
revenues, which could be problematic in other ways.

Who knows someone that would be able to address these questions?

Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 10:20:05 -0700
From: bill bonte <bbonte at moscow.com>
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Re: Name of this list & re: Water
To: Janesta Carcich <janestacarcich at yahoo.com>
Cc: vision2020 at moscow.com, Matt Decker <mattd2107 at hotmail.com>
Message-ID: <9CA819FC-9208-4854-A607-5E3918F2C97C at moscow.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252; delsp=yes;

This is exactly what happened in the SF Bay area about 20 years ago.

There was a severe and prolonged drought.  Even-odd lawn watering
days were instituted.  Washing of cars was
prohibited.  Restaurants did not serve water except on request.
These measures and others dramatically reduced water usage.

What happened?  The water utilities and private water suppliers were
hurt financially. They petitioned the PUC for
higher rates and were granted a substantial increase.  People who
conserved saw their bills increase anyway.
The next time there was a drought people did not cooperate with
requests for conservation.

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