Liberty and The California Drought


Please don’t get me wrong, the drought in California is serious, and we must all do more than our part to conserve water. In addition, I believe that I am “one of the good guys,” to the degree that long ago I turned off our sprinklers, and only hand water our yard less than once per week. Nevertheless, in my opinion, neither the water districts nor any city governments have any authority whatsoever to order us not to water on certain days, or to control in any way how we actually use the water that is sold to us!

Water districts are formed as a public utility monopoly and are obviously in the business of selling and providing us with water. To that degree, they have the right to set the prices for its sale – and that includes using a sliding scale for higher amounts used. But otherwise they have no authority to tell us, for example, that we must take showers instead of baths, or water our roses but not gardenias, or to “allow” us to run sprinklers on Tuesdays but not on Wednesdays. Yes, during World War II the government imposed rationing of products like gasoline and butter. But once the sales were made, it did not even purport to have the authority to dictate when or where people could drive or whether the butter could be used on toast but not on hot cereal. That was and is the right of the consumer. And just because water districts and city governments might say they have that authority now does not make it so. This is a straightforward question of Liberty, and yet another example of big government improperly attempting to control our lives. Thus any attempts by governments to intrude on that Liberty should be resisted! (Nevertheless, please continue to do your part to conserve water.)

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President