How to pay for water
Re “Water rate ruling snags drought plan,” April 21
I was very disappointed to read about the state appeals court decision invalidating San Juan Capistrano’s tiered rate structure. As they tell us in Economics 101, incentives matter.
The fact is that people who want their yards to resemble the estate of an English lord are being subsidized by the rest of us. They are not paying the full cost of delivering those large volumes of water. Those costs are externalized, both geographically — since they affect a broad swath of ecosystems and human communities — and temporally, as they will be borne by our children, who will face depleted aquifers and a further degraded environment.
If the courts find themselves constrained, then we need to prevail on our legislators to change the law so that our water fees include all of the real costs of providing 160 gallons of water, every day, to one person living in a place that gets 13 inches of rain per year.
Those who wish to live in a landscape like that of Lord Crawley should move to one of the states with year-round rainfall and not expect their California neighbors to subsidize their fantasies.
A COURT agreed with John Perry of San Juan Capistrano that tiered water rates violated the law.