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The 90 Day Plan

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today at Aguanomics - Water cops waste $75,000 each

Today at Aguanomics

Water cops waste $75,000 each

Posted: 21 Jan 2010 03:52 AM PST

I've ridiculed the "water cops" idea (see this, this and this) for a long time.

1.       They are a fascist mechanism -- telling you want to do, when and where.

2.       They are a visible form of "education" more than an effective way of increasing water conservation.

3.       They divert resources from more pressing matters. (Even though I bet they are considered "green collar jobs").

And now we get the cost of cops in San Diego [p 497 of this pdf]: $752,370 for 10 FTE positions.* (I don't that includes their transport costs, since they probably drive fleet cars.)

Note the revenue associated with these cops: $0.

Now, I know that cops are supposed to be valuable because they promote water conservation, by their very existence and/or the threat of a fine, but I'd prefer a more-direct mechanism: Raising the price of water.

Higher water prices:

1.       Don't tell you what to do; you choose when and where to use water, and pay accordingly.

2.       Are something we've learned how to respond to LONG ago -- by using less.

3.       Cost nothing. In fact, they generate revenue.

So why does the City of San Diego (and others) have water cops?

§ They prefer to make noise and then impose rationing when it doesn't work.

§ They don't really want to sell less water (because revenue falls).

§ They are bureaucrats who prefer to tell people what to do.

I'd like to hear a better reason. Anyone? Buehler?

Bottom Line: Fire these cops and rehire them to read meters that are billing water at higher prices. They will actually be useful.

* Bureaucrats are amazing: "Adjustment reflects the addition of 10.00 FTE positions and associated non-personnel expenditures to support and implement the Drought Response Level 2 mandatory water use restriction."



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