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Drought Days: Here Comes the Water Brigade

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Last Friday, the city approved those new water rate hikes, which DWP officials tell the Los Angeles Times will affect "large-lot owners who already use more than their basic allocation," rather than those who live in apartments, who likely won't need to cut back on their rates as much. Here's how Fox News breaks down the new rules:

"Under the new rates, which will go into effect June 1, the threshold for that increased fee will be reduced by 15 percent, and the higher rate will increase from $3.59 per hundred cubic feet to $5.19. A hundred cubic feet is equal to 748 gallons, and the average Los Angeles household uses 1,200 cubic feet per two-month billing cycle. Most residents are not expected to see their water bills go up, but some customers who use a lot of water -- expected to be about 15 percent of Los Angeles residents -- will pay significantly more. Reactions so far: Earlier in the week, a Los Angeles Times OpEd argued that the "drought-year rates should be adopted as soon as possible" and that the City Council should also eventually vote to ban using "landscape sprinklers except on Mondays and Thursdays. Much of the city's waste is a result of over-watered lawns that would remain just as green with less watering." Over at, the former Daily News editor argues that the middle class gets reamed by hikes. "The allocation takes into account lot size and other factors so that houses on small lots face the same 15 percent cut as those on giant lots which get roughly twice as much water on their base rate allocation. At the same time, the DWP is in the process of more or less doubling those on reduced rates to about one-sixth of the total number of households. This is being done without regard to means testing so, for example, people who live in an area where most people are poor all get the reduced rates regardless of income." And in a weekend OpEd, the Los Angeles Times mentions the alternative of recycling gray water, ie, re-using laundry water, rather than hikes, while the Daily News also mentioned using gray water in a recent editorial.
· Making L.A. water-wise [LA Times]
· LA Council Approves Water Rate Hike [Fox News]
· A solution to California's water shortage goes down the drain [LA Times]