by Dan Wrightman
There has recently been a lot of grumbling and controversy with the McGuinty Liberal’s Feed In Tariff program for wind and solar energy. Much has been made over the cost and implementation of this program but before we jump all over Mr. McGuinty’s back I want to suggest that perhaps McGuinty’s program is not a failure and that he could very well be a genius.
In fact I propose that the FIT program for green energy has been so successful in weaning Ontario off non-renewable fossil fuels that the FIT program should now be expanded to a new rain water production program for homeowners and big business.
Why? Well we all know that out of all the water on Earth, only 2.75 percent is fresh water and we could run out some day. The exciting thing is that like wind turbines we only have to look backwards to the past to find the awesome solutions for tomorrow. In the old days people used to collect rainwater from their roofs in cisterns for their own personal use, but now we could just hook up a homeowners downspout to the city water lines or “the water grid” as I like to call it.
Every time it rains the roof runoff would drain into the water lines and the homeowner through a 20 year contract would get paid a tidy sum for all water produced, say 80.5 cents a litre. Meanwhile like the FIT program the homeowner could buy water back from the city for 0.2 cents per litre.
While the price paid out to homeowners may seem exorbitant it is justified because the renewable water industry will at first need government subsidies to compete with the non renewable water industry. In time efficiencies of scale and new technologies will help bring rain water collection prices down and we can consider lowering the FIT rate.
Some people have raised health concerns about dirty rain water being added to the water system but I think they should quit putting their own selfish concerns ahead of the greater good of the rest of Ontario. The ends justify the means and we just have to start somewhere.
It would be unfair if only homeowners could take advantage of a good government program so I recommend allowing big corporations like Samsung to get in on the action. Instead of letting rainwater run off farmland into open ditches, large corporations could divert the rainwater into giant pipelines for say 13.5 cents per litre and pump it off to happy consumers.
When its too rainy and we have a surplus of water we can pay our neighbouring states and provinces millions to take our excess water just like we do now when we produce too much wind energy.
I could go on and on extolling the benefits of FIT for rainwater but I think we all get the idea. This is a wonderful program and the people of Ontario will never get tired of paying infinitely more for it, and we have all this because of the genius of Dalton McGuinty.
Dan Wrightman, Kerwood
May 21, 2011