Here’s the Charlotte Observer on their water woes (since dried up):
First things first. It’s encouraging news that drought conditions have improved enough in the Catawba River Valley for an advisory group to OK limited lawn irrigation. Presumably, that decision reflected hard and fast data, not pressure by landscapers or a desire to refill depleted utility budgets.
Yet we can’t help but fear the region may quickly find itself right back where it started this year, water-wise: Far short of normal rainfall, water supplies shrinking and facing even more dire restrictions on water use.
There’s also this: The lesson we’ve learned in the past year about water conservation ought to be permanent, not fleeting. Holding tight to water restrictions would reinforce the fact we need to learn to do with less, not return to old habits.
Again and again, journalists create false dichotomies. The Observer’s is: either we implement draconian conservation "water restrictions" to "learn to do with less" – or – we overconsume and let the well dry up. I seem to remember offering a solution that would break this false dichotomy: charge prices relative to scarcity. Hello? Anyone awake over there? Even Raleigh’s gonna start tiered water rates – which, while imperfect, is better than subsidizing overconsumption then writing people tickets after the fact.