A few weeks ago, I chaired a session at the Water ’06 Conference. Among the speakers there was the Chairman of the National Water Commission, Ken Matthews, who raised a number of claims often made about water issues that would require future community debate and discussion. These included:
1 that recycled water will never be acceptable in Australia for household use
2 that additional urban water supplies should not be sourced through market purchases from irrigators
3 that additional water for the environment should be sourced from the market only after all alternatives have been exhausted
4 that urban water use restrictions introduced during the drought should continue indefinitely into the future
5 that any water not abstracted for consumptive use is necessarily doing good to the environment
6 that uniform water quality and pricing should be maintained across all urban water users including industrial users, and
7 that water and sewerage are natural monopolies and should therefore be provided by governments.
There’s a bit more here (hat tip, David Adamson). Of these, I disagree with 1-4, and broadly agree with 7. Propositions 5 and 6 are too complex for a Yes-No answer.
Update I should add, if it’s not obvious that Matthews means to imply that all of these propositions are both widely accepted and overdue for sceptical scrutiny.