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Council rejects water conservation rates

April 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday rejected water rate changes intended to encourage conservation.The Department of Water and Power had proposed a new rate plan that would charge customers more for going over a certain amount of water usage each month. Customers who stayed below those usage amounts, an estimated 85 percent of L.A. residents, would not see any increase in their bill.

After a one-hour debate, the city council voted against the proposal, sending it back to the DWP Board of Commissioners. That panel will likely submit a reworked plan.

The DWP says the changes are necessary because L.A. is facing a water shortage. The utility argued that the rate changes only applied to customers who failed to conserve and therefore were not, technically, a rate increase. Councilman Dennis Zine disagreed.

"If they're paying more, they're going to look at it as a rate increase," said Zine.


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