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Orange County case challenges legality of tiered water rates

The Los Angeles Times reports that the suit alleges San Juan Capistrano's tiered water-rate structure violates state law. At least two-thirds of California's providers, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, use some form of tiered rates.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the suit alleges San Juan Capistrano's tiered water-rate structure violates state law. At least two-thirds of California's providers, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, use some form of tiered rates.
Omar Bárcena/Flickr Creative Commons

A lawsuit in an Orange County city could change the way customers California-wide pay for water.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the suit alleges San Juan Capistrano's tiered water-rate structure violates state law.

Under tiered systems, the more water a customer uses, the higher the rate. It's a strategy water districts employ to encourage conservation.

A group of residents argue the tiered structure violates a state law that prohibits agencies from charging customers more than the "cost of service" provided.

A lower court decided in their favor, and an appeals court is expected to rule soon.

The newspaper says at least two-thirds of California's providers, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, use some form of tiered rates.