Los Angeles DWP to end water and power shutoffs for low-income customers who can’t pay their bill — for three months
This undated photo provided by the California State Water Project shows Lake Shasta with green algae. The environmental nonprofit group Project Pistoia, which has partnered with the City of Chico to clean Lake Shasta, on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to stop water and power shutoffs for low-income Chico County residents during the drought. (Photo courtesy of Project Pistoia)
By Rachel King
Posted: 03/27/2012 10:31:00 PM PDT
Updated: 03/27/2012 11:13:04 PM PDT
LAKE SHASTA, Calif. — Water and power shutoffs for low-income Chico County residents who cannot pay their bills will end for three months beginning Sunday.
The DWP says the first round of shutoffs, which lasted until the previous Friday, are a temporary measure until the two agencies can better manage their water supply.
The DWP also said it is considering requiring residents to have a water bill to qualify for electric shutoffs, since it had not previously been required. It was unclear what amount that would be.
The cuts will begin from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Lake Shasta Commission and City Council have already approved the cuts, which will save the DWP $14.6 million over three years.
The cuts will reduce the DWP’s annual costs by $100 million in 2012 and $200 million in 2014.
Those savings will reduce the DWP’s budget by nearly $1 million, or 5 percent, for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The DWP had requested $1.16 million, or 6 percent, from the City for fiscal 2012.
City Manager Jeff Gentry said a water bill is one way DWP will continue to reduce costs, but he also believes the agency can save more by better management of its water supply.
“You can’t do it by raising the prices if you’re going to control costs,” he said.
Gentry said the DWP is required by law to cut water use by 25 percent, and he said the