The New LA Water Restrictions

By now you should already be aware that the City of L.A. has begun enforcing new water restrictions that are designed to reduce agua usage by 15 percent this summer. Most important is that sprinklers can only be run on Mondays and Thursdays and on those days only between midnight and 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. You CAN hand water any day you like, but only during the 12:01 a.m. - 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. timeframe. Fines will be levied after an initial warning.

First reports were that we had to reduce our water usage 15 percent or face higher rates and I was a little peeved since I already practice conservation fairly rigorously. But it turns out, it's not exactly a 15 percent reduction. How it really works is this: each household normally gets an allotment of water for which it pays a base rate. If you go over that allotment, you pay a premium rate for the overage. What the DWP has done is reduced the allotment by 15 percent. You can't find out what the allotment is by looking at your bill yet (the department says they're working on that) but you can go online or call to find out what your allowance is.

So I went on line, and found out that we have already been using far less water than our 15 percent-reduced allotment, so my family doesn't have to worry.

The DWP thoughtfully included a bunch of hang tags in my monthly billing so that I can go around to my neighbors and make sure they're aware of the new rules. Can't quite figure that one out -- aren't all my neighbors DWP customers themselves?

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