It’s that time of year when rain comes every now and then, but seldom enough at one time to do much good for the lawn or for the flowers. Lawns get brown and flowers get droopy if they aren’t hydrated regularly. Jeesh, I sound just like Ricky Kemery. That’s OK, because Old Ricky knows what he’s talking about in regard to lawns, gardens, and other stuff that turns green when watered. Rick would probably say that if you want a nice looking lawn and a healthy garden, you should be prepared to water when needed. Going one step farther, you should also be prepared to pay the cost of watering when needed.

That’s where I’m having some personal issues right now. I’m frugal and I’m also an amateur environmentalist. I think this planet has limited resources and I would like to think I’m doing my share to save some for my grandchildren and their grandchildren. If I use more than I really need to just to make my lawn look pretty, perhaps some of my descendants will suffer as a result of my egocentric behavior.

Getting back to the frugal part, I hate to spend more money this year doing the same thing that cost me less money last year. If I water my lawn this year as much as I did last year, it will cost me 75% more. That’s because I’m a customer of Aqua Indiana in Aboite Township, Allen County, Indiana, USA. Aqua was able to convince the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission that the improvements Aqua made to its water system here should enable them to charge its customers 75% more for the water and sewer usage.

I’m not complaining, although I did complain quite a bit shortly after approval was granted for the increase, and I complained more when I saw the first bills that included the increase. I’m frugal, as I said, and I hate to pay more and more for things that used to cost quite a bit less.

Then I started thinking about how the increase in rates has affected my behavior. For one thing, it makes me think about the water I use and why I use it. It makes me think about why I’m running water from the tap, and how I might save a few gallons by adjusting my showering technique, and why in the world I should try to make my lawn greener and thicker than the guy next door. In other words, it makes me use less water.

I think I’m just fine with the increase in water and sewer charges. Otherwise, I might be using the same amount of water as I used last year, which was probably more than I used the year before. In some cases, the only way to promote conservation is to make consumption costly.

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