"Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting." Isn't that the old western way? If our city is really serious about conserving water, I have a solution: No new water hookups. This would hold our population steady, keep traffic from getting worse, cut the carbon footprint, and keep our sky clear. Of course it would have a negative effect on housing prices. Then fewer people could afford to live here and move away cutting water demand.
Maybe we should first look at a law similar to California's Proposition 13 for property taxes, but applying to water rates. Roll back a person's water rate to what it was when they bought their house, maybe capped at 30 to 40 years. Let new users pay at a rate proportionate to providing the "new" water and the infrastructure to deliver it.
New developments would provide half their water needs from renewable sources - rain, reclaimed and/or gray water systems. Maybe the developers could only buy the water rights (meter capacity) that was present on the property before it was sold.
Food for thought.
JOHN M. LOVELY