Paying for water what it is worth

Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach is attempting to withdraw over 13 million gallons of water a day for a cattle ranch near Silver Springs. That has raised justifiable concern. His business decision about water use is plausible only because Florida charges nothing for the water he would like to use. Cheap groundwater is running out in the region. What if the new ranch had to pay what the water is worth and compete directly with all other uses?

New public water supplies in the region are expensive. They could cost several dollars more per thousand gallons than existing groundwater sources. If Stronach had to pay even one dollar per thousand gallons of water, his annual fee would add up to $4.7 million. We can be sure that the ranch would find ways to use much less water if it had to pay what it was worth to other uses. And the water not used to irrigate grass would leave groundwater potentially available for high-value uses in the region.

It is hard to solve water supply problems when you give the stuff away.


Paying for water what it is worth — 3 Comments

  1. Metering all water use and charging reasonable fees for it is the only fair thing at this point in Florida, but “fair” may not be what our local government has foremost in mind.

  2. This is good example of not giving value to a precious and limited natural resource! Unfortunately, our politicians will never pay or require meters on all private wells. Never ever!

  3. Metering water usage on EVERY withdrawal would leave every citizen on a equal footing everyone else who wants water. WE THE PEOPLE must work together to demand that system be enacted in the state legislature.