Wealthy Californians should pay dearly for their ornamental lawns

The Washington Post published an article titled Rich Californians balk at limits: ‘We’re not all equal when it comes to water’. It’s getting a lot of attention. Such as this article at Daily Kos. The article includes many memorable quotes including the one in the title. Here’s another one from a self-centered, entitled, oblivious asshole throwing a tantrum:

What are we supposed to do, just have dirt around our house on four acres?

I should point out that as a software engineer in Silicon Valley my income is only slightly less than the median for the community that was the focus of the article. And yet I can’t identify with the douche-nozzles featured in the article. Nor do I have any sympathy for their situation.

This quote caught my eye:

Once the water goes through the meter, it’s yours.

You know what? I agree. However, I think the cost of that water should be progressively priced with a steep increase in each tier. For residential use every home should receive an allotment large enough to meet the basic living needs (drinking, bathing, toilet) for, say, a family of four at a base rate. The next tier might allow enough water for plants, but no lawn, on a typical 1/8 acre single home plot and be priced at double the base rate. The third tier would provide double the allotment of the second tier and be priced at eight times the base rate. That should give you enough water for a decent size lawn and to wash your car every week. If that still isn’t enough water for your landscape, pool, jacuzzi, and to wash your four cars twice a week then you can purchase even more water but at a rate 50 times the base rate.

People should be free to piss away their money in pretty much any manner they see fit. If that means wasting potable water when there isn’t enough to meet the needs of the entire society they should be free to do so. But “free” only in the sense they can make that choice. The financial cost of wasting that resource should most decidedly not be “free”.

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Kurtis Rader

I'm first and foremost a Secular Humanist and Atheist. To pay the bills I'm a software engineer. When not working I walk or play with my dogs, read lots of non-fiction (and some fiction), and watch lots of movies.