Picture: Overview of the Marin County Watershed as seen from Mount Tamalpais, Marin County, California
I can understand why they’re upset. Marin County is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s more affluent regions. The normal cursory thought of “Well, they can afford it” would usually draw little attention. Yet my empathy lies totally with the angry citizens of Marin, who are currently expressing outrage at having their water rates raised. Why the upset? It’s well understood that the cost of living is always on the rise. The answer isn’t what one might expect. The citizens of Marin were asked to conserve water as California suffered through a number of dry years. The citizens did such a good job of conserving water, that reservoirs are now overflowing from recent storms, and the water utility experienced such a low demand for water, that their budget revenue fell 10%. The Marin Water District is now seeking to make up for the loss of revenue caused by it’s citizens excellent conservation efforts. In a case of pure ‘government logic’, they’ve decided to rewarded those who excelled in conservation by raising their rates.
Tell me there’s not something wrong with this picture? If you do a good job of saving a resource, we’re going to charge you more for using the resource. No doubt in my mind; that’s the wrong lesson.
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