Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The Price of Conservation
Here's a [link] for you "hug anything that Nancy Pelosi likes" folks. It seems that water conservation is paying off (or failing to pay off) in good old Burque.
It's paying off if, like me, you think that we of the Rio Grande Valley should not behave as though water is an unlimited resource. It's clearly not. Yet, for the years I've lived here, Albuquerque has boosted most of its prosperity from expanding urban sprawl and population--cut short by the Great Recession, which hasn't ended despite what the feds say. City Quirky citizens have succeeded in reducing water consumption by so much that the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA--not to be confused with AMAFCA and MRCOG, a couple of our other interesting "authority" types) isn't taking in enough money!
So, to make water conservation pay off for the ABCWUA, they are "thinking about" raising water rates. Now, whenever I hear about a political entity thinking about something that involves getting deeper into the pockets of us tax- and rate-payers, I know we've already lost the inning and probably the game. It's like saying the Democrats are "thinking about" running somebody for president in 2016. It's like saying the IRS is "thinking about" collecting taxes this April.
The ABCWUA will want to soften the blow, of course. So they announce the thought process to begin approximately 6 months before they know they'll actually impose the increase. They will, undoubtedly, point out that those who conserved have been reaping the benefits of lower water bills, so they will just start paying closer to what they were paying before they conserved. What a reward. It's like your doctor saying you should eat better and keep your cholesterol low and you won't have a heart attack, but then telling you they are short on funds so they're going to do a bypass anyway. They'll just charge you less for it.
What about Me!? I never had to conserve when asked, because I always conserved. So I didn't reduce my bill. I've been paying the same amount for water since Bill Clinton didn't have sex with That Woman. (I think That Woman is Bat Woman's sister.) I use six gallons of water to wash my car--two buckets. I have low-flow toilets. (Don't ask if my gut is low flow, too.) So now me and so many of my friends are going to reap the coveted double reward: Never got one for always conserving. Now I'll pay increased amounts to compensate those who did get one for conserving. Sounds more like the good old double screw to me.
Where's that leaky hose?
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