Water and power commissioners pass new water pricing plan

Los Angeles water customers could face higher rates on bills this summer after water and power commissioners passed a pricing plan aimed at encouraging less consumption. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has more.

Los Angeles water customers could face higher rates on bills this summer after water and power commissioners passed a pricing plan aimed at encouraging less consumption. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has more.

Molly Peterson: What the Department of Water and Power calls shortage year rates now needs approval from the city council. The rate plan would allocate 15 percent less water to customers. Those use more than that would pay higher penalties than before.

DWP wants the rates in effect by June 1. Neighborhood councils and some members of the city council have complained that’s too soon. But DWP General Manager David Nahai said L.A. has been laying groundwork to cut back on water use since last year.

David Nahai: The water conservation ordinance became effective last summer. We’ve been talking about conservation in this city now for a very, very long time. So the idea that something is coming out of the blue with inadequate notice and so forth and so on is something that I reject.

Peterson: Nahai told water and power commissioners his staff would step up public outreach once the rates are approved – the L.A. city council could green light them within a week. The utility already has some information about the proposal on its Web site at LADWP.com.

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