Touch the Soil News #1244 (Feature photo – Typical Lawns – By Veracious Rey at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13264796)
Most often, access to land has been the determining factor in urban agriculture or home gardening. However, growing in scarcity over the past 30 years has been access to fresh, uncontaminated water.
In rather obscure national news, the city of Columbia, Missouri recently updated and increased charges for water. Local community gardens have come forth asking for exemptions (which may not happen) as the water costs go beyond their budgets.
The city estimates that the average household in Columbia uses about 550 cubic feet (4,100 gallons) of water a month. The new three-tier system would charge increasing rates for increasing usage and watering the lawn.
While 4,100 gallons of water at the highest rate is only $33.11 per month, when you start looking at larger plots the math is very different. For example, it is not out of the question to use 1 to 2 feet of water on food crops. Two feet of water on one acre is equal to 87,120 cubic feet. At $6 per 100 cubic feet, that would translate into a summer water bill of $5,227.
For those more interested in the specifics, the following two news links provide more detail: