The water crisis earlier this week shows how quickly we can go from plenty of water to no water. The reservoirs are designed to hold 500,000 gallons of water. Seems like a lot to burn. Of course there are businesses that rely on water to keep equipment running. Not everyone could cut back. Not everyone was informed there were water restrictions.
Accounting for an additional 800 tourists in town over the weekend also flushing and showering, that’s just over 250 gallons per person. Over two days, 125 gallons. A ten minute shower with a regular shower head can use as much as 42 gallons of water. A load of laundry can take the same 40 gallons. We haven’t even begun to subtract water for industrial or commercial purposes!
The point is, freak accident or no freak accident, we don’t have a lot of room to spare when it comes to village water. And I think not having water anywhere in town made a lot of people appreciate this service in our homes.
Some people say water meters are not fair, since clean water is a human right. Well, water is already something we pay for. Secondly, installing water meters means the village can charge for use.
The first portion of water (let’s call it the human right portion) will conceivably cost less than it does now. The second, third and fourth portions of water (let’s call them lush green lawn and swimming pool) will cost more, since we assume the people who chose to water their lawns and pools have enough to pay for them.
The only problem with this is it assumes the same number of people live in each dwelling. It makes a lot more sense to figure out a quantity based on the number of residents so big families aren’t unduly punished. There’s also the question of commercial and industrial users – those should also be looked at separately.
Personally though, as much as it hurts to pay for electricity use, at least I know that I’m empowered to change my consumption and save money. It does alter my behavior and ingrains good habits.
I hope residents will support future endeavors that aim to conserve water in a fair and equitable way. It could help us stave off expensive upgrades to expand our reservoirs down the road.