Counting the drips

Kiwiblog is talking about water metering. Good to see that some people know the difference between metering and privatising. The worry of course is that this might be the first step taken. Only time will tell. In the meantime I would like to draw peoples attention to what happens if you plug “water elasticity demand” into google scholar. I welcome correction but it looks to me from reading the abstract of one paper that there is “Evidence of low price elasticity abounds in residential water demand studies, limiting the effectiveness and desirability of using price signals as a conservation too”. Wish I still had access to a uni database so that I could read the full text.

So if the economics suggest that the elasticity is low perhaps then regulatory measures might be better? I was amused that despite several comments suggesting regulations, Nanny state was only mentioned in one post. Perhaps National will be able to succeed in introducing regulations around efficiency and conservation measures where Labour lagged due to there business friendly image. Will the media be so quick to portray sensible but frankly quite weak measures to draconian nanny state intervention in your castle with a National government? I realise that due to their various images (some contradictory) being based somewhat in fact that measures introduced by National are never going to go as far as what is necessary. Could a National Government be a good thing. Please someone tell me I’m dreaming!

2 thoughts on “Counting the drips

  1. Pingback: ISTMM III CONFERENCE » Blog Archive » Counting the drips

  2. I’m of the opinion that there should be a tiered metering system.

    An allowance, a minimum per person amount should be free. This prevents something that is a basic right being alienated from any who cannot afford it. That amount will be extremely inelastic in a priced system anyway. Kind of like the Kiwishare agreement put on Telecom.

    After that amount, the pricing should be rather steep, sufficient to impact on demand.

    I don’t think that National are immune to advice at this stage – new Governments very often listen to people who aren’t directly attacking them and who have usable suggestions, across the ideological spectrum. It might be worth discussing this pricing model with them.

    Of course, this suggestion could possibly a sop that would make privatisation easier, but it might be a risk worth taking.

    Myflat – If you send me an email (george dot darroch [at] anu dot edu dot au) I’ll send you a copy of the paper if you want. Or any other papers for that matter!

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