What's the Deal With Water Conservation?

I am having difficulty figuring out the hype over water conservation.  It is pushed by the establishment media.  It is taught to kids in school.  Or perhaps brainwashed into their minds is a better description.  In some places, you can only water your lawn on certain days of the week.

First, nobody needs to tell me how to use my water or give me an incentive to supposedly save water.  I pay my water bill each month.  That is my incentive.  I am not going to unnecessarily water my lawn because I don’t want to pay a huge water bill.  I am only watering my lawn so that my grass doesn’t die.

My next thought on this subject is on the whole idea of saving water.  Where are we saving it?  Water evaporates into the air and falls back down in the form of rain.  It actually works really well as a filtering system.  You get clean water falling from the sky.

I am no scientist, but I don’t think massive amounts of water are disappearing from the earth.  It may get redistributed from some areas to others, but there is no shortage of water on earth.

This leads to my next thought and that is that two-thirds of the earth is covered by water.  Again, why is anyone supposedly worried about a shortage?  I understand that you can’t drink salt water, but even with that there is wonderful technology that can actually remove the salt to make the water usable.  It may not be cheap to do, but there is no shortage.

At some price, water is available.  While it does fall from the sky, it is not a free resource, unless you can collect your own rainwater or if you have a well.  But at some price, there is plenty of water to go around.

This leads to the most important point of all regarding water conservation.  In most places, it is government that is in charge of supplying water.  If there are any shortages, that is clearly the reason.  If water were like other goods provided in the marketplace, there would be a valid price system that would allocate resources and find equilibrium for supply and demand.

This means that some places would pay more for water.  If you live in a remote area or if you live in a dry climate, you can likely expect to pay more for water.  But the higher price will mean that people in those areas will conserve more because of the incentive to spend less money.  In addition, the higher price will provide a signal to suppliers to shift more resources – in this case water – to the areas that need it most.

It is quite symbolic of government that water conservation is pushed.  When the government gets involved in something, there is usually rationing.  Think about medical care.

Meanwhile, in the voluntary market sector, we see the opposite.  Do you ever see bottled water companies telling you to limit your purchases to save water?  That would be ridiculous.  Bottled water companies want you to buy their water.  If they have a low supply of water for some reason, they can simply raise their prices.

Whenever you see shortages and rationing, think government.  It is no different with water.  It is no different with medical care.