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Re: E-M:/ Press Release for todays Meijer Demo

Enviro-Mich message from Rane Curl <ranecurl@engin.umich.edu>

On Sun, 6 Oct 2002, Grant Trigger wrote:

> Also the last time I checked there is no law against pumping water out
> of the ground and bottling it - so it might be libelous to assert that
> anyone is "stealing" the water.  Also is there any law that would

> What is a rational mind missing here?

Probably only that there is a problem. Since there are no laws against
pumping water, it is possible for the resource to be over-used or abused
or wasted. It is another example of "The Tragedy of the Commons" (Harden),
wherein the individual exploitation of a "common" resource is of "unit
value" to the user, while usually causing very little problem for said
user. But if too many act on this "reasonable" observation, the resource
can be damaged or destroyed. The near destruction of our coastal fisheries
are prime examples of the "Tragedy". To a leser extent (so far) are our
common-law uses of water.

Harden pointed out that the only solution is regulation. One possible
regulation for water could follow from viewing all the water that falls
upon Michigan to be a community resource, for which everyone must pay
something to the community (the state, in this case), whether they buy it
from a treatment plant or pump it from their property, and the price, and
even access, could be set so that the resource is not overexploited.

--Rane L Curl

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