Mandatory Los Angeles Water Conservation Begins

June 1, 2009
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers must reduce consumpution by 15%

As part of a mandatory water conservation program in response to a three-year drought, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) customers must reduce water consumption by 15% or pay a higher rate beginning June 1, reported. Lawn watering is also restricted to Mondays and Thursdays.

The new rates and restrictions are set to be in place until more water supplies become available.

Residents cut their water usage by 5.3% in 2008 compared to the previous year. But DWP head David Nahai said more conservation efforts are necessary.

"Water is not a free commodity. Every drop that is going down the drain is money that is being spent by that person," Nahai said. "Water use equals money spent. When we're telling people to cut back (watering lawns) to only two days a week, we're also telling them that they're going to be saving money."

The amount of water DWP customers can purchase at the lowest price—shown on water bills as "Tier 1," will be reduced by 15%. Customers will not be affected if they are already conserving 15% below their Tier 1 allotment.

Customers who surpass the reduced allotment will pay a higher rate for every gallon over their Tier 1 allotment.

The region's water supply is expected to drop about 20% this year, because of the ongoing drought and a 2007 federal court decision that limited the amount of water that agencies can draw from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.