This article highlights an unsolved problem, where the problem appeared …

Comment on Fixing taps or fixing policy? by TFX.

This article highlights an unsolved problem, where the problem appeared to be solved years ago according to Hermann Weber’s comment.
I went up to the Darwin for the CLP government as an adviser. I am an economist from rural southern Australia but have provided advice on solving many problems across different fields.
One of the first jobs I was given was to find a way of charging for water usage in remote communities.
Being a good economist I revised all the issues in marginal cost pricing versus average cost pricing versus two-part pricing for water usage in the remote communities.
When dealing with the issue I threw the textbooks away and had to find the answer to the questions of “whom do I charge?” and “how do I get the money off them?”.
The electricity people had sorted out their issues through the use of tokens, purchased from the community store and providing the amount of power that was paid for, by whomever bought the tokens. Unfortunately, the cost of implementing the same system in water meters was prohibitive.
Many of these communities are on fossil water, so that when it runs out there are basically no options but to shut it down as the cost of water transport is absolutely prohibitive and taxpayers everywhere would object to the size of the subsidy required.
I told my kids about my failure to find an answer to the problems of water in the remote communities. One of them gave me as a Christmas present a book on Israeli water technology.
It outlined quite a few technologies that would help reduce wastage of the fossil water, compared to what I knew was happening from my experience up there.
The technology is relatively cheap and would help deliver for the remote communities, but if they had to bring in people to do the basic plumbing the costs would still be extremely high even though there would be some marginal long-term savings.
The responsibility for fixing problems has to be with the local community and if they are not prepared to do the simple things as Mr Weber said were done in the past, there has to be a financial penalty to the community to encourage them to undertake the training and ability to fix the problems.

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