LADWP seeks rate hikes to pay for maintenance, infrastructure

Last week the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said it needed more rate hikes - this time, for the water system. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports this week the utility will explain its new budget.

DWP interim general manager Austin Beutner has vowed to release a budget for his utility that customers can understand. The first part of that budget came out last week. The utility wants customers to pay more for water service: customers who use what they're expected to would pay about four percent more. Households that use more than their base allotment would pay up to 8 percent more. DWP says the water rate hike's necessary to pay for the replacement of aging pipes, pumping equipment, and reservoir maintenance. The budget proposal arrives just months after widespread public opposition to DWP energy rate hikes - and rising skepticism about the utility's practices. Beutner will present the budget at the LA city council. DWP officials will also explain what's going on in two public meetings: one, Tuesday, in Van Nuys, at 6 PM in the DWP's service center. The other, Saturday, downtown at DWP headquarters, at 10 in the morning. DWP has also posted its budget online: the utility's taking comments there, too.