Property rights: Highlands version
Paul‘s on the money, again,
And if the state wants to preserve water, Gagne notes, it’s not development in the Highlands that should be curtailed. It’s development in the lowlands. The typical Highlands homeowner uses a septic system that returns about 80 percent of the water to the aquifer. But 100 percent of the water used in the cities is pumped out to the ocean and lost forever.
An excellent point. If we’re truly concerned with “the water supply for more than half the state’s population,” we should stop pumping it out of the Highlands in the first place. Let’s halt growth in all of those lowlands areas. That would make more sense than stopping growth in the Highlands, at least from a water conservation standpoint.
But let’s not pretend that water is the real issue here. The real issue is that the state wants to turn the Highlands into a park. But state officials don’t want to pay for the parkland. It’s nice to think that you can legitimately acquire some of the most beautiful property on the Eastern Seaboard for a mere $2,069 an acre. But if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I can let you have real cheap.
And again, the owners of the land are the ones stuck.