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DWP votes to push water conservation

April 14, 2009 12:23:38 PM PDT
The L.A. Department of Water and Power board voted on Tuesday to mount a major public information campaign to explain why conserving water is vital, especially at a time when California faces a severe drought."You don't have to be a brainiac to save water. It's just, if you get the message in a clear fashion, then you're more likely to do it," said DWP commissioner Forescee Hogan-Rowles.

The DWP isn't giving up on a plan to charge some users more for water. During a Tuesday meeting, the board talked again about a plan to penalize people who use too much water.

The board unsuccessfully tried to impose a drought surcharge on homes and businesses that use beyond the base allocation. The Los Angeles City Council rejected the idea on March 25.

"The reason we need to do this is, there's just not enough water," said Jim McDaniel, DWP water rate manager.

Critics complained they didn't get enough warning that rates for tier two water usage in Los Angeles would jump 44 percent.

The DWP argues it is not a rate hike because customers who don't waste won't pay more for water.

Opponents argue that the DWP keeps adding workers and giving them 6 percent wage increases, while assuring developers that there's adequate water and telling renters and homeowners they must cut back.

Water officials argue that 85 percent of single-family homeowners and 94 percent of low-income residents would not see an increase in their water rate.

Opponents say the solution is conservation.

"This is just to get revenue, they want our money, " said Ron Kaye a community blogger.

"They don't really have a conservation plan.


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