Jay Z claimed “water is free” in a March New York Times article—and Denver Water took the opportunity to clarify that, no, water is not free.
Denver Water’s Steve Snyder wrote an open letter to Jay Z on the Denver Water blog that he begins by congratulating Jay Z on his accomplishments and complimenting a lyric from “Diamonds from Sierra Leone“: “You have perhaps the coolest line I’ve ever heard, ‘I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man,'” Snyder wrote. “And since water is my business, I have to say, ‘Stick to your own business, man!'”
Let’s back up: Jay Z originally used the “water is free” comment as a way to sell Tidal’s mission. He said, “Water is free. Music is $6 but no one wants to pay for music. You should drink free water from the tap—it’s a beautiful thing. And if you want to hear the most beautiful song, then support the artist.”
In response, Snyder brought up how “some people can’t pay their water bills” and the problem of water becoming scarce, listing California’s drought as an example. “Californians would no doubt pay good money for Mother Nature to turn on her faucet a little more frequently,” he wrote.
A few days after posting the first letter, Denver Water posted another letter to clarify that, “Whether you are Jay Z or Joe Blow, we all need to understand that water is a precious commodity indeed, and that we have to use every drop efficiently. After all, you can’t make this stuff.” Amen, Denver Water. Amen.