All hail consumer choice, the bandwagon that has brought us deregulation and choice of utility companies until we could deregulate and choose no more.
With yesterday's mail I received a water bill, and in the same envelope was a flyer informing me the price of water is going up because a new desalination plant is being built. And of course, desalinated water costs more to produce.
For quite some time it's been possible to switch energy providers and choose to purchase and use only "green" energy. It costs a bit more, but is better for the environment and in theory using it means there will be more investment in renewable energy.
In Holland, a lot of drinking water is created from recycled sewage - like what Towoomba didn't want. Sewage is treated, released in to the surface water supply (rivers) and that same surface water supply is used to generate more drinking water. It tastes fine and I grew up without any nasty diseases.
Now, if creating drinking water this way is cheaper than desalination (and I don't see how it would not be) and more choice for consumers is good, why am I not able to choose to buy my water from a company that sells water from recycled sewage at a lower cost than what others - who want desalinated water - pay for theirs?