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Friday 13th April 2012 | 11:00
CentreForum has today proposed an alternative to the hosepipe ban, eight days after people in the South East were told to turn off their garden taps.
The think tank;s proposal is designed to keep everyone happy during a drought year. It works like this:
Water companies will offer businesses compensation for reducing their water consumption.
The water saved can then be sold on to metered domestic users* who pay more for water than business users. This generates the cash needed to compensate businesses.
If the difference between what domestic users pay and what businesses pay is not enough to induce businesses to cut consumption, then water companies will be allowed to increase water charges for domestic users who use a lot of water.
CentreForums chief economist Tim Leunig, who came up with the proposal, said:
Water companies should not be encouraged to pick on any particular group, but offer compensation to industrial and agricultural users who agree to use less water. Its time to make hosepipe bans a thing of the
Penny Snell, Chairman of the National Gardens Scheme, agreed:
Everyone knows we need to save water, but it is important that no individual group is singled out unfairly.