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Thursday, Jun 1, 2023

When Water’s Being Wasted, Who Ya Gonna Call: Drought Busters!

Have you been served water at a restaurant without asking, or left your hose dripping recently? According to a new ordinance signed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and endorsed by DWP General Manager David Nahai, you can now be fined again for those and many other water wasting habits. In a press conference on August 14, the mayor signed a new ordinance aimed at both residents and business throughout Los Angeles. Reminiscent of rules put into place in the early 1990s, the new ordinance is an attempt by the city to crack down on water wasting in order to “meet increasing demand and to encourage water conservation,” a city press release stated. The new rules include an expanded list of “prohibited water usage” events and fines are nearly doubled. Residential customers can be charged $50 for a first offense and $100 for additional crimes against water, while business now face fines ranging from $50 to $200 for first offenses. Fines will show up on the owners’ DWP bill. Appeals will go directly through the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. Enforcement The LADWP will begin enforcing the water use ordinance with its Drought Buster Team. The Drought Busters have patrolled the City over the last year but have only been able to issue warnings to customers about water waste. Now, under the new rules, Drought Busters can begin issuing citations to property owners or occupants. First-time offenders will get a warning, but repeat offenders will be fined on a scale depending on the rate and amount of wasted water. The LADWP will more than double its monitoring resources by bringing the total number of Drought Busters from six to 15.

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