Increased water conservation has lead to higher water bills.
As costumers are frugally cutting back, water providers in Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay area among other parts of the state, have recently informed residents that rates will go up, at least temporarily, according to Yahoo News.
The Department of Water and Power (DWP) also reported that, due to the almost $111 million revenue drop, the city of Los Angeles is implementing a temporary increase of about $2 per month to customers’ bills to recoup its losses.
Other agencies implementing a temporary increase include Contra Costa Water District, the East Bay Municipal Utility, and the San Diego Public Utilities Department.
Currently 93 percent of the state is experiencing extreme drought conditions and many of the states water resources are depleted, as reported by US News.
Resources from Reuters state the 4-year-old drought has not only affected the environment throughout Southern California communities, but also the wallets of its citizens.
Gov. Jerry Brown proclaimed a state of Emergency in January 2015, issuing an Executive Order asking California to reduce water consumption by 25 percent.
Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti set forth the “Save the Drop” campaign in the summer of 2015 in an effort to conserve every drop of water available in Los Angeles.
For the third straight month the plan has met its conservation goal by saving more than 256 million gallons of water, according to LaMayor.org.
The site also states, Garcetti’s Executive Directive No. 5 (an official order of instruction in response to California’s Emergency drought) calls individuals to a 20 percent reduction in water use by 2017.
Water use for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, was 113 gallons per capita per day (GPCD), compared to 131 GPCD for the previous fiscal year, a reduction of more than 13 percent.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) must reduce water consumption by 16 percent each month from June 2015 through February 2016 to stay on mandated conservation targets, according to Garcetti’s website.
Citizens must adhere to the mandatory three-day-per-week, eight-minutes-per-stations (referring to lawns, gardens, etc.) watering restriction required by the Emergency Water Conservation Plan Ordinance, and are also advised by the Mayor to voluntarily reduce watering to two days per week, eight minutes per station, as reported by the LADWP website.
“The recent drought has not yet affected me, however I have noticed changes around campus concerning the lack of water, hopefully fixing these concerns will not affect my student costs,” said student Deshaun Wilson. As Angelenos use less water, there is less water revenue generated. This year, conservation has reduced projected revenues by $110.7 million.
The Water Rate Adjustment Factor (WRAF) will allow the Department to recover costs associated with delivering water to costumers,” explained the DWP.
With numerous federal and state grants, CSUSB’s Water Resource Institute has been able to expand allowing students to gain more information on past and present droughts.
Boykin Witherspoon, director of the Water Resource’s Institute of CSUSB, has dedicated his career to address “challenges and solving problems related to the sustainability of the critical issues in the Inland Empire’s water resources.”
Irvine and Riverside did not have to raise their rates due to planning for the drought, stated Max Gomberg, Senior environmental scientist for the State Water Resources Control Board, in an article for San Gabriel Valley Tribune.