SAN DIEGO, Sept. 21, 2011 – Community leaders, environmental organizations and the public will come together on October 5th to discuss water pricing policy, including the concept of scarcity pricing, in a forum titled “Three Easy Steps to Sustainable Water Management in Southern California.”
The forum will be happening Wednesday October 5th at 6:30 pm at the San Diego Foundation, 2508 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 200, in San Diego’s Liberty Station.
The guest speaker is California native Dr. David Zetland, the Senior Water Economist at the Department of Environmental Economics and Natural Resources at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Dr. Zetland has a new book on water economics called The End of Abundance: Economic Solutions to Water Scarcity, and his work demonstrates how simple economics can conserve water and coordinate the work of the various water agencies.
The forum is intended to illuminate the issue of water pricing, and create a dialogue between the public and decision-makers about this very important issue. Belinda Smith, local Campaign Manager for Surfrider’s Know Your H2O campaign, says “This is a long overdue opportunity for all citizens of San Diego to educate themselves on water pricing. It gives us a chance to ask questions of, and learn, from a top economist who has some pretty cutting edge ideas. As sponsors of this forum, I’m not sure we all agree with all of Dr. Zetlands views, but education is a core component of any environmental organization’s mission, and this gathering will provide the opportunity for everyone to educate themselves on our convoluted water pricing system and how it could be better.”
Water pricing plays a fundamental role in how this very precious resource is used or overused.In many parts of the world water is not subsidized the way it is in Southern California. When the concept of scarcity pricing is introduced to communities, whereby households are charged at higher volumetric rates as supplies decline, it leads to massive water conservation. This not only saves communities capital costs on water infrastructure, but during times of non-drought, water supplies are cheaper for the general public. This is the antithesis of San Diego’s existing pricing structure and resulting water waste in place now.
Dr. Zetland will give a brief overview on our current water pricing structure, and introduce his cutting-edge ideas. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. The “Three Easy Steps to Sustainable Water Management in Southern California” forum is sponsored by UCan, Middle Class Taxpayers Association, Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Chapter, San Diego Coastkeeper, CERF and Sierra Club.