economics is underlying incentive. A farmer will adopt water conservation if it makes economic
Other conservation programs concentrate on water providers and water utilities. By
reducing losses and leakages, water providers can lower water diversions by as much as 20%.
Programs such as ditch lining and water pipe rehabilitation are expensive and these programs
need federal and state assistance to work.
Metering of water uses is a necessary water conservation program. It is the basis for more
efficient water management. Metering provides quantitative metrics to guide a farmer’s,
homeowner’s and municipality’s water use. Metering more precisely measures regional and state
water budgets and is necessary to enforce effective administration of water rights. Metering
allows for accurate measure of the amount of water saved by implementation of other
conservation measures and has been demonstrated to significantly reduce water use by as much
as 20 percent in some studies.
V. A Water Conservation Fee
We propose that the state should impose a water conservation fee on all uses of water.
The benefits of a water conservation charge are several-fold. Charging a fee increases awareness
of water use, which in turn leads to conservation. If the fee is set at a sufficient level, it can
provide an incentive for conservation. Thirdly, the funds generated by a fee can be used to
address water related needs in the state. Though fees or new taxes are unpopular, a user fee on
water is very necessary.