Los Angeles conserved so much water customers will see a rate hike to cover lost revenue

(Image credit: iStock)

In Los Angeles, residents and businesses did such a good job of cutting their water usage this year that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is going to have to start charging customers a fee to cover the revenue it has lost.

The Board of Water and Power commissioners voted to approve a pass-through charge on Tuesday, and starting in 2016, customers will have to pay about $1.80 more a month. "We have no other way of recovering the revenue to maintain the system for our customers," Neil Guglielmo, director of budget, rates, and financial planning for the DWP, told the Los Angeles Times. Officials said that because residents and businesses reduced their water consumption about 10 percent more than expected, the DWP fell close to $111 million short of its revenue projection for the fiscal year that ended over the summer.

The department said it needs about $380 million total to take care of pipe repairs, aqueduct maintenance, and operation of water-treatment facilities. The DWP has started promoting a video that explains why customers should support a five-year rate hike, and has asked social media users to share the video using #LADWP. So far, the hashtag has mostly been hijacked by people upset about the rate increase, including one user who tweeted: "#LADWP hikes rates because they aren't making enough revenue. We're saving water like we're supposed to. U mad? I am."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.