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Oct. 1, 2007 by boo

Water... to use or not to use

Maui County is again faced with a water shortage. We typically go through this each summer with mandatory cut-backs on usage upcountry, and voluntary cut-backs in Central and South Maui. Why the water shortage exists is probably a combination of environmental, social, and infrustructure problems. Solutions are a few years away. Meanwhile, conservation is being pushed as the solution to the immediate need. The County's Water Department is recommending a mandatory 10% cut back for Central and South Maui, to be enacted in 30 days if the voluntary cut-back goals are not acheived.

Since I'm already trying to be a good citizen and stretch my dollars at the same time, I've already cut back my water usage. The question I am pondering is... should I continue to conserve as much as possible, knowing a 10% mandatory cut back will probably be enacted? If so, I will be expected to cut back an additional 10% beyond what I am already doing. OR, should I go for it and increase my water usage now while the water department is creating a base-line of my usage, so that when the mandatory cut back is enacted (probably) I can drop back to my normal conservative-usage?

The Maui News has reported the head of the Water Department as saying that if/when a mandatory cut back is enacted, he is willing to pull people's water meter for not complying with the 10% mandatory cut-back. I generally don't respond well to threats. But this encourages me to splurge on the water usage now to ensure I don't lose my water meter later.

I would think our government can find a way to calculate the average water use per person, per household as a base-line for conservative water use, rather than using our past usage as a base-line for comparison. Using our past usage only rewards those who already waste water, penalizes those who already conserve water, and encourages people to increase water usage now--knowing that a mandatory cut back is coming soon.

What do you think?


Comments

"Hmmm... you gave me something to think about. Like what you are doing, we are already trying to conserve water without the mandatory 10%, even if the motivation is just to stretch out dollars. I agree with you, especially what you said in the last paragraph: I would think our government can find a way to calculate the average water use per person, per household as a base-line for conservative water use, rather than using our past usage as a base-line for comparison. Using our past usage only rewards those who already waste water, penalizes those who already conserve water, and encourages people to increase water usage now--knowing that a mandatory cut back is coming soon. "

Posted by Lizas Eyeview on Oct. 4, 2007

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