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Market Prevails – Again

Less than a year ago, Mayor David Coss in Santa Fe was launching his crusade against bottle water. I thought with everything that a Mayor should be concerned about, his priorities were a little skewed.

I hate to sound like a broken record here, but if people would let the market run its course, they would find a lot of these environmental concerns will fix themselves. And, the decline of the bottled water phenomenon is just the latest example (subscription):

Tap water is making a comeback.

With a day’s worth of bottled water— the recommended 64 ounces— costing hundreds to thousands of dollars a year depending on the brand, more people are opting to slurp water that comes straight from the sink.

The lousy economy may be accomplishing what environmentalists have been trying to do for years— wean people off the disposable plastic bottles of water that were sold as stylish, portable, healthier and safer than water from the tap.

The next step to water conservation is not more costly low flow toilet mandates or rebates from municipalities (with a rebate I’m funding my neighbors flushing habits). It is not the creation of Water Authority Utility fees. Nor, is it the seizure of private companies by government bureaucracies. Conservation will occur if we just let the market dictate the price and economic pressures motivate personal priorities.

We’re not just talking about water here. The market can fix suburban sprawl issues, fossil fuel consumption, escalating health care and just about any of the other multitude of government caused problems that now plagues us, but we have to let it work.