Californians face water rates rise

  • 25/10/2015
Californians face water rates rise

Hit by a record drought, this year Californians cut back on their water usage, many watching their beautiful lawns go dead.

They've done such a great job, the Water Department has lost millions of dollars and that's leading to a rates rise.

When the call came in to conserve water, Californians listened. Lawns went brown, less came out of the tap.

Michael Raileanu says he, like millions of Los Angeles customers, cut way back.

"It's nice. It's not quite as lush as it used to be," says Mr Raileanu.

But now LA's Department of Water and Power is saying conservation has reduced projected revenues by $110 million and it wants some of that money back by raising fees.

The agency posted a video and asked for comments on social media. Mr Raileanu posted on Twitter: "#jerks, you're punishing us for doing the right thing. There must be another way. #findanalternative #thieves #mismanagement."

He wasn't the only one.

"How dare you ask us to cut water usage and then charge us more because we did?" read one tweet.     

The Department of Water and Power says customers who cut back are already saving more than $5 a month. Even with the rate hike they will still be saving $3 a month. Customers aren't buying it. 

"We Californians accepted this responsibility, took it seriously and they're turning it around and saying, sorry but you lose, and it's just not right. It's just not the right thing to do," says Mr Raileanu.

Just like the drought, he says, appearance is everything.

CBS News