Mailbu Residents Asked to Reduce Water Consumption

County supervisors today unanimously declared a water shortage emergency in Malibu, Topanga and Marina del Rey, where residents will be asked to reduce consumption by 15 percent or face higher rates.

The board affirmed a Phase II shortage, which means customers will need to use 15 percent less water or be charged extra for exceeding the new threshold. The limit will be based on district averages or high-usage records, whichever is higher.

Three years of drought statewide and court-order limits on pumping water from the Sacramento Delta have reduced water supplies and increased rates charged to the county and other water utilities. Households in affected areas get their water via the county Department of Public Works.

Customers will get letters telling them about the plan and their monthly allocation.

It was not immediately clear when the new billing procedures would take effect.

In the city of Los Angeles, the Department of Water and Power instituted a water shortage policy Monday, affecting about 680,000 customers. The LADWP plan calls for a similar 15 percent cut in usage and restricts watering lawns and gardens to Mondays and Thursdays only, with no watering between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Separately, the Board of Supervisors approved a plan to charge customers in Kagel Canyon, Malibu, Val Verde, Acton and the Antelope Valley for water service availability, even where water is not currently metered and used. The charges are expected to raise $1.8 million toward maintenance, operating expenses and capital improvements.

Customers with questions about either plan can call (626) 300-3362.

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