Back in 2006 when I was teaching in England, there had been quite a drought, and there was concern everywhere there about water shortages. Several articles appeared, documenting all the water that was leaking from London's aging water-supply infrastructure.
At the time, it would have been counter-productive for the water authority to defend those leaks with some reference to cost-benefit analysis. Imagine the outrage if people thought the concept of opportunity costs was being applied by bureaucrats to the water system. What could the bureaucrats say? "Because the costs of hiring and paying people to work on the water system in London are so high, it's cheaper just to let the water leak out of the pipes than it is to fix them."
It looks as if there is a similar situation (albeit on a MUCH smaller scale) here at The University of Regina. Every day when I walk across the open area to and from my office, I pass this scene:
The water is always there. It never dries up, and it seems to be emanating from some source off to the right of the sidewalks.
I don't know why it is there. If that water is flowing from some sort of underground watering system, it seems to be over-doing it. If it is the result of a leak, I suspect the university hasn't fixed it because the costs of fixing it outweigh the costs of letting it go.
Opportunity costs at work!
Update: I had noticed this water ever since I arrived on campus 3 and 1/2 weeks ago, and I took the photo on the weekend. Wouldn't you know it: the day I post about it on the blog, there are dirty footprints all around the places where the water had been flowing, but there is no water!