Guest: Seth Siegel | Author
Category: 💬 Opinion | Water Industry
Podcast’s Essential Bites:
[3:23] SS: "Water is so fundamental and so basic that our risk [is], we take it for granted. And one of the things that you do when you take things for granted is that you don't rethink paradigms. [...] We're not charged the right amount of money for water. That's to say we're not charged enough. [...] We have agreed to allow our water systems run by our mayors, which is a big mistake, because they will never want to raise water rates as their publics will see it as a tax, even if that means inferior water, inferior health of water, [...] inadequate staff, [and] inferior software."
[4:06] SS: "On the other part of the equation is that we just take for granted that whatever it was that was done previously is fine in the future. Now we don't take that approach and just about any other field. You can't think of another industry, transportation, education and military publishing, you name it, where there hasn't been revolutionary changes in just the last 20 years and probably several revolutions in the last 20 years. And yet [...] in terms of municipal water, we tend to be doing what we're doing 75 and 100 years ago, and in terms of agricultural water, lamentably we're doing what we were doing thousands of years ago."
[17:48] SS: "It's a complete fallacy that water can be free. Water cannot be free. [...] If you want to open your tap, who's gonna pay for finding that water, purifying that water, administering that water, transporting that water? How can that possibly be free? It can't be free. And you know what happens when it's free or tantamount to free [...], the water quality is awful, or the water supply is irregular, or the pipes leak to a degree of 65 or 70%. [...] We have examples from all over the world where it's functionally free and also at the same time demand is high and supply is low or demand is high and quality is low, and the water is unsafe."
[19:21] SS: "In the same way that we subsidize housing, or we subsidize food, or we subsidize education, or subsidize clothing, we should subsidize water. We shouldn't say that somebody should always have to assume that they can pay their own water bills because they might not be able to. And maybe they aren't getting 100% of their food subsidized, maybe they're getting 20%. So fine, give them a 20% voucher for their water bills."
[20:50] SS: "[I think that] sooner or later, everybody's going to have some form of home filtration system. [...] I think probably right out of the tap is probably the smartest and safest. [...] I think that the concept of fixing the water from the source to be so pure and fixing the pipes to be so pure, even though I endorsed that idea, [...] I think it's too [...] unrealistic."
Website: Seth M. Siegel