LA City Council approves DWP water rate plan

After prolonged debate, the Los Angeles City Council has approved a rate proposal from the Department of Water and Power. KPCC’s Molly Peterson says that could mean higher bills.

After prolonged debate, the Los Angeles City Council has approved a rate proposal from the Department of Water and Power. KPCC’s Molly Peterson says that could mean higher bills.

Molly Peterson: The rate plan encourages conservation. Each house in L.A. has an allotment of water. As of June 1, it’ll be 15 percent smaller. Customers who stay within that amount will pay the same rate.

If they use more, the rate for extra water jumps 44 percent. Soledad Garcia leads a group of neighborhood councils who oppose the rates. She said the decision merited more discussion.

Soledad Garcia: Telling everyone about it after it is passed is a travesty. It’s a disrespect of the community and of the neighborhood councils to just bypass everyone to get their own agenda over and finished, that is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Peterson: DWP Chief David Nahai said most people’s rates won’t go up if they don’t hog water. But he added that the rate plan is crucial. Earlier this week, Nahai noted that one of the city’s suppliers, the Metropolitan Water District, voted to sell less water to L.A.

David Nahai: We anticipated that that would happen, but it’s not the only thing. We also have to consider the substantial reductions in our own exclusive water supply, from the L.A. Aqueduct and other factors, it hasn’t changed, it hasn’t improved any.

Peterson: Nahai promised to blanket DWP customers with information right away about how the new rates will work. Those rates take effect June 1st.

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