Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Water Rate Vote Scheduled

Pat Mulroy has scheduled discussion on Las Vegas cheap, cheap water rates for Feb. 19. As you may have heard, Water Czarina Mulroy has publicly criticized the idea that water rate increases for high-volume users would lead to water conservation - despite the fact that her agencies have said that it would have exactly that effect, it has been the primary tool that other (far more efficient) municipal water agencies throughout the world have used to encourage efficiency and conservation, and the whole extended conversation on water rates was predicated on the idea that those changes would help Las Vegas' awful record of water waste.
I served on the committee that looked at the water rates in Las Vegas, and I pushed the idea that low-volume water users, which would include folks with small amounts of turf and smaller homes, shouldn't be punished for the water waste of high-volume-using millionaires. (Folks like, for example, Mrs. Mulroy, the highest paid public official in the state of Nevada.)
Mulroy recently opined that increasing the cost of water would no more lead to greater efficiency than increasing the cost of gas has led to gasoline conservation, a point that maybe would be lost on the thousands of new Prius owners... Of course, she also said that conservation groups such as the one I work for wanted to eliminate every blade of grass in Southern Nevada, another statement that joined Mulroy's Hall of Shame of patently false, self-serving and misleading claims.
(Strangely enough, the one person on the water rate advisory committee that wanted a flat-rate and high increases even among the most minimal users represented the home builders. Not that Mulroy kowtows to the developers or anything. After all, despite her record of enthusiastically endorsing spiralling, out-of-control growth at any cost, she insists that she's just an innocent public employee without any personal stake in the growth issue.)
So anyhoo it will likely be a spirited conversation and anybody who a) is a little alarmed at the impending environmental destruction of rural Nevada or b) thinks that endless growth is just peachy down hereabouts might want to come on down to the Clark County Commission meeting Feb. 19.
More info from the Water District here:
For more on PLAN's perspective on the issue, go to Page 38 of the Water Rate Committee report here:

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