Marketplace should settle allegations

Published 12:06am Thursday, June 6, 2013

If the 18th century English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge had lived in modern Adams County, his famous poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” might have sounded a bit different.

Rather than the oft-quoted verse:

“Water, water everywhere,

Nor any a drop to drink.”

In Adams County, the line might be bent to be:

Water, water everywhere

Nor any a drop to sell.

Money, power and territorial machismo appear to be at the root of a three-year battle in federal court between the Adams County Water Association and the Natchez Water Works.

ACWA sued Natchez Water Works over allegations the city water company had infringed on ACWA’s rights to sell non-potable water to a prospective industry.

We understand each entity’s desire to work in their self-interests, but it seems to be an issue best worked out in the marketplace rather than a courtroom.

Though we realize that antiquated laws aim to “protect” one entity from competition from the other, shouldn’t the business that offers the consumer the best price be allowed to compete and win new business?

Instead, Adams County Water Association chose to duke out the matter in court.

Utilities are a big business, and significant money is on the line when such things are discussed.

But at this point, the matter should end, and both utility companies should be forced to publicize exactly how much each entity has spent on the legal battle to date.