Latest conservation technology, the “water meter”, sweeps British Isles

From the Telegraph:

Water companies across a third of the country will be required to consider fitting all properties in their areas with a water meter and billing customers for every drop they use.

Under the order, approved this week by Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, some family water bills could double.

It follows warnings from the Government’s environment specialists that climate change and England’s growing population will put the future supply of water in reservoirs and rivers under “serious stress”.

This innovation is apparently based on some clever new work by a British academic named Adam Smith who has just recently discovered that consumption of a scarce good is influenced by the price charged. The striking implication is that if you charge people a flat rate for a commodity like water, regardless of how much they use, some people will install “power showers”.