Do you live in Melbourne? Have you realized that water prices are increasing by 20%? Well, here is what you can do about it.
Soon after posting my comparison between the East West Link and the desalination plant in Wonthaggi, I received my new water bill. Once opened the letter, I couldn’t believe my eyes: price increases in the range of 20%.
Now, what can we learn from that?
Well, one must know that the costly desalination plant was built as an adaptation measure to a ten-year’s drought likely provoked by climate change. Apart from several mistakes in planning and assessment, the whole project had one very unjust feature: average households are paying for the luxury of a few individuals, to have a 100% guarantee of being able to sprinkle their lawns and wash their cars even during a drought. A costly luxury. Not so bad if you are rich and have that luxury paid by others.
In other words, average households are paying the wasteful lifestyles of the rich. Adaptation to water shortage could also have been done in a different way, namely by reducing water consumption. However, that’s not what the rich and powerful want.
What can you do about it? In terms of water prices probably not much. Reducing consumption might help a bit.
However, what you can do is making sure that nothing like that will ever happen again. Unfortunately, the next project is on its way. The East West Link is another luxury that will be paid by all citizens and only used by a few: those who want to cross the city from the West to the East (or vice versa) within only one minute and in their own car. Do we need that? At what cost? Have an estimate here.
If you think that it is not necessary and that you do not want to pay for that tunnel, then you have only one chance: vote for The Greens on 7th September!
 It’s obvious that an increase on a consumer product (i.e. water) will hurt lower income households much more than rich ones.