Shame on Los Angeles residents for conserving water. The Department of Water and Power (a widely hated agency, but also a public utility owned by all 4 million Angelenos) plans to slap everyone with a $5 per mo charge. Why? We hurt DWP's bottom line by saving water.

Rick Orlov at the Daily News explains how DWP boss Ron Nichols is cleverly trying to rush through the $5 punishment before a “ratepayer advocate” representing the people can be appointed. Nichols clearly got his $5 fee idea from Bank of America. Now Nichols outlandishly claims L.A. mightn't meet “federal water quality standards” without a fee grab.

It's hard to overstate the incompetence inside Los Angeles DWP, which has allowed the city's 85-year-old water pipes to decay to the point of sinkholes, even as the DWP has blown many millions of consumer dollars on self-promotion, PR, dead-end pet projects and so on.

The 15 electeds on the Los Angeles City Council have long suffered from a shared low IQ level. The nation's highest paid City Council — at $178,789 per year — has bungled the simple duty of hiring a ratepayer advocate to protect us from the DWP that we, the public, own.

Confusing, isn't it?

Los Angeles DWP boss Ron Nichols channels Bank of America.

Los Angeles DWP boss Ron Nichols channels Bank of America.

So until Angelenos get that official watchdog in place to train an eye on Nichols and his bunch inside DWP, the CitywatchLA website, a group blog of well-informed watchdogs like Jack Humpreville and Ken Draper, has stepped in to tell us what is unfolding at DWP.

CityWatch has run a detailed series on DWP, its failure opposition to hiring the Ratepayer Advocate, and an ugly, ugly series of power, water and other fee hikes DWP plans to slap on Angelenos quite soon.

One CityWatchLA must read is this expose on how Nichols and the DWP screw you if you use solar power in Los Angeles.

Now, atop that, Nichols wants $5 from everyone each month.

For turning down their sprinklers too much.

For installing too many low-water toilets.

For creating too many low-water gardens.

For fixing too many dripping faucets.

Shame on everyone for saving water in arid Los Angeles. Now cough up the $5.

LA Weekly