L.A.’s quest for water leaves costly bill: Higher rates for customers, choking air pollution
A new study has found that Los Angeles homeowners pay more than $2 billion per year in water and sewer charges, while Los Angeles County water customers pay $4 billion. This analysis of California water bills — by Los Angeles water department officials and UCLA accounting professors David and Susan Kowaluk — has revealed major flaws in state and county water rate design.
The study, which was published in the June issue of UCLA’s Monthly magazine, also found that:
Water managers in several California counties are using a new formula for computing water rates to raise rates substantially for customers who use the most.
The new water rate plan will be implemented in the coming years.
In the process, the new rates will drive an enormous increase in water bills, leading to further environmental damage.
This new rate structure will be a major cause of air pollution in Los Angeles.
The Kowaluk’s analysis of water and sewage rates and billing charges for 10 western California counties and the state of California from 2006 through 2017 found that:
Los Angeles’ total water and sewage charges have climbed from $1.7 billion in 2006 to more than $2 billion today.
The average residential water and sewer rate was $9,500 in 2005 and more than doubled to more than $22,000 in 2017.
The average water and sewage charge for a single-family residential customer increased from $10,000 to $26,400 from 2006 to 2017.
The county water system spent more than $2 billion on water and sewage rate increases from 2011 to 2017.
The average water and sewer charge for a single-family residential customer in L.A. County jumped 575 percent between 2006 and 2017. This was a 9 percent increase in the average charge for single family residential customers.
The average water and sewage charge for a single-family residential customer in California went up more than 1,000 percent between 2006 and 2017.
The average water and sewage charge for a single-family residential customer in L.A. County also jumped 575 percent between 2006 and 2017, but the increase was closer to 9 percent.
Los Angeles’ water and sewage system spends $2 billion a year on water and sewage rate increases on average.
Water and sewage rates have risen by millions of dollars in California