July 26, 2005

"The artist disconsolately conceded yesterday...."

Speaking of water-based art in the UK, remember that guy with the running tap? He's turned it off:
A water company has given notice to a work of art which has already shed enough water to sprinkle half the lawns in Surrey.

The artist disconsolately conceded yesterday that his installation, The Running Tap, has probably run its course after pouring an estimated 800,000 litres (1.4m pints) down the drain during one of the worst droughts in the south-east in decades.

"Well that's it, isn't it?" Mark McGowan said miserably....


Robert said...

This makes no sense.

We don't use up water. There's the same amount of water on the planet today as there was yesterday as there was a bazillion years ago. (Aside from whatever got landed on us in comet form.)

We charge an economic price for the use of water because it costs money to move water around, to purify it, to pump it, and so forth. Saying that something "wastes" water is absurd; what is being "wasted" is the water company's resources, the infrastructure's carrying cost, and so on. None of those things are irreplaceable resources - if they are being paid for by a willing user, then the transaction is appropriate and beneficial.

Short of life-threatening drought, which cannot occur in any reasonably free-market country, there is no justification for any restriction on an individual's use of water. If that use is causing systemic problems due to some bottleneck, then let price signals inform the user that his use is excessive - and let him choose to pay that price, or not. And then the water company can use those extra resources to increase their capacity or whatever is necessary to meet the consumer demand.

Michael said...

Not if the price of water is in some way subsidized by the gov't. In that case, there would be an increased cost to the gov't (and therefore the taxpayers).

Also: buying and using more water could increase the price for everyone else (depending on whether it's cheaper or more expensive to get the Nth gallon of water than the one before it--I suspect it's more expensive).

Paul said...

He must suffer for his art. And he coould still do something in sand or dirt.

Robert said...

Well, that makes sense, Michael.

Harrumph. You went and spoiled my perfectly good irritation with your "logic" and "reasons". ;)

SippicanCottage said...

News Flash-
Artist discovers stuff costs money.

Film at eleven.