Proposal: Restoring Water Freedom

A guide for deregulating the framework under which water transport and pumping freedoms for utility providers are unfettered, and better for economic growth.

Credit: Leeroy

Right now, if you go to any sink, shower, spigot or faucet (except in Flint, MI and 80% of Puerto Rico, where they have far too much melanin to deserve water), you can access clean water, which will flow freely and easily. It’s affordable and portable, but more importantly, it’s outdated.

We have been using the same method of delivering water since the age of the aqueducts in ancient Greece. Water would travel for miles, fed by gravity, to the homes and farms of the Greek people. Yet, somehow, this ancient technology has gone unchanged, and now we’re using that same system in our modern age. Simply put, it needs to change so utility companies can offer you greater freedom in your water experience™.

We need more water freedom™.

What is water freedom? It gives consumers more choices and freedoms in water decisions, so they can improve their water experience™.

Why? Because not all water is the same. We don’t need the same quality of water for drinking that we need for taking a shower or doing laundry. For decades, doctors have complained about lead in drinking water — but lead is only poisonous if you drink it. It won’t do you any harm if you’re just washing your hair.

Farms don’t need drinking water in order to water their crops. Parks and golf courses can use non-potable water, such as untreated river water. If we’re looking at this objectively, clean water isn’t just overrated, it’s often unnecessary, and too costly.

For decades, industry has been stifled, no longer able to dump pollutants into our rivers and waterways. This has cost America jobs, and stifled our growth. Of course, this ignores the fact that people don’t need to go fishing in every river, stream, or lake. It’s perfectly possible to designate certain waterways as Fishing Friendly™, while designating others for polluting. It’s not like we’re going to run out of fish anytime soon. Moreover, we don’t even know how fish and other wildlife even feel about more pollutants in their habitat. Since they’re unable to talk, we have to trust biased scientists, rather than getting information directly from the fish. Maybe the fish feel like their rivers are overpopulated? Maybe the fish don’t like the other species? We don’t know, and that’s why polluting some rivers isn’t what environmentalists make it out to be.

Credit: Nick Le

Of course, there’s a bigger problem here: Some people need, or want higher quality water. Others don’t want or require clean water.

For most of my life, I have been forced to purchase Fiji™ water by the case, because my water company cannot afford to build dedicated pipes for the different types of water I require for my water experience™. Our water experiences are different, and it’s important that we recognize my freedom of choice is being impinged right now.

My money is forced to subsidize normal, still, boring, plain-old drinking water for poor people, and because of that, I’m unable to water my lawn with La Croix™ or Perrier™. If water companies had more freedom, they could build dedicated pipes for sparkling water, so I’m not forced to drink tap water, like a serf.

I mean, just say that aloud for a moment: “Tap water” — it even sounds poor, doesn’t it? If people want normal, clean drinking water, they can pay for it, sure. That’s a perfectly acceptable solution. It’s their choice, and they should have the freedom to choose clean, tap water for their water experience™.

The problem here is, of course, we haven’t even studied whether or not poor people like clean drinking water. Many poor people may choose Coca Cola™, or Colt 45 Malt Liquor™. We don’t know how poor children respond to slightly-contaminated water, versus perfectly clean water. If we don’t allow the market these choices, we’ll never know if we’re making the water too clean for poor people. If poor children aren’t severely impacted by some minor pollutants, what’s the point is making it perfectly safe? A little dirt never hurt anybody; plus, kids are dirty anyway.

We don’t want to over-clean people’s water. It’s just a waste of money. That’s money we could be spending on Perrier-pipes.

By forcing our water utilities to make all water clean and drinkable, we’re inherently blocking other types of water experiences. That’s antithetical to the ideas America was built upon: Freedom, and choice. We can choose our religion. We can choose who we marry. We can choose our cars. We can choose our homes. Yet, with water… we’re left with the plain, boring tap.

Tell your legislators you’re tired of being forced to drink clean water. Ask for water choices, and water freedom.

Special note: This is a commentary on the FCC and their position on Net Neutrality. Please don’t take this seriously, or attempt to turn this into actual legislation.