If the DWP is to be believed — always a risky proposition — then we know who the worst water waster in town is: The City, of course.
According to today’s report from the DWP on the first month of its mandatory water conservation rules, there is an overall reduction in water use of 11 percent compared to June 2008 and 14.4 percent lower than June 2006 when the drought began.
That was a full year before the mayor deigned to call for voluntary conservation and a full year before mandatory measures were imposed — measures the City Council wants to drill with loopholes for the rich, the poor, the sick, the horsey crowd, corporations with large expanses of lawn and most of all, itself, including the half-acre of grass outside the soon-to-open $500 million yet-to-be-named Police Headquarters.
But I quibble and digress.
The point is nothing was done for two years while the water supply evaporated and the cost of buying water boiled over, a time period during which cities like Long Beach shattering records for conservation.
And then LA imposes Phase 3 restrictions, the most stringent in the whole state, suggesting that the DWP didn’t plan for this crisis or is over-reacting to justify enormous rate hikes in the name of the absurd doctrine of “revenue neutrality” so it can keep on giving 6 percent raises to its IBEW work force.
Whatever happened to “shared sacrifice” or has it just become “screw the public” as usual.
But I quibble and digress again.
The point is today’s DWP announcement about how we did in conserving water during June so here’s the numbers:
Single-Family Residential: -16.8%
Multi-Family Residential: -8.3%
Total Water Usage: -14.4%
You can look at these numbers in different ways.
For instance, you could say the city has done a fantastic job of conserving water, better even than homeowners who have been the only ones to reduce water use by a degree in recent years.
Or you could say that if the city can cut water use by nearly a third in just one month maybe the city has been the No. 1 water waster for years, squandering this precious resource as if we weren’t just a town out in the desert somewhere.
Given the fact that homeowners have led the way in water use reduction in recent years and the city has not, it seems to me to be the inescapable conclusion that the city is the problem.
Not to quibble or digress, but isn’t it time to check up on DWP General Manager David Nahai who was caught last year with his hose running as one of the biggest water wasters in town. I wonder how he’s doing, and if his water meter is working properly.