Water Rates Subject Of JLAC Audit

March 09, 2012

Lara seeks evaluation of consumer water bills, from tap back to the source

Sacramento — Discrepancies and rapid increases in water rates for families throughout Los Angeles County prompts Assemblymember Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) to request an audit of water suppliers to identify the cost of water from the point of purchase at the source to consumer use in the home.

“Access to clean water is a basic human right and a necessity that is being threatened by unsustainable cost increases.  Seniors in my district are being forced to choose between purchasing their medications and paying their water bill.  It is imperative that we identify what factors contribute to monthly charges and determine if costs can be streamlined to give consumers relief,” said Lara.

Over the next three years, water agencies in Los Angeles County like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Golden State Water Company are seeking to increase their rates from 15% to 27% respectively.  There is minimal understanding of why water rates are increasing at such a dramatic rate, the factors that contribute to monthly charges and the reasons for significant variations in rates by neighborhood.  In the last few months, water districts have faced mounting criticism for monthly fees, surcharges, costs of projects and their benefits to the communities they serve, as well as the costs associated with legal actions.  The JLAC audit will serve as a comprehensive evaluation of water delivery throughout our state.

“I am confident that this audit will provide vital information of significant factors that contribute to water rates for this region and possible solutions for providing affordable and sustainable drinking water. Los Angeles County residents and Californians throughout the state want answers - this audit may well provide the answers,” concluded Lara.

Below are links to audio of from Assemblymember Lara:

Assemblymember Ricardo Lara’s presents his request for the LA water audit to the Joint Legislation Audit Committee. (2:34)

Assemblymember Lara explains why he called the audit. (:37) http://www.asmdc.org/audio/20120306WaterAuditLara1.MP3

Assemblymember Lara says he wants to find out what is happening to all the money being paid to the water suppliers by consumers. (:11) http://www.asmdc.org/audio/20120306WaterAuditLara2.MP3

Assemblymember Lara says paying for clean water should not bankrupt a family budget. (:13) http://www.asmdc.org/audio/20120306WaterAuditLara3.MP3

Assemblymember Lara says the audit is just the first step to dealing with the fluctuating water rates. (:14) http://www.asmdc.org/audio/20120306WaterAuditLara4.MP3

CONTACT: Julia Juarez, (323) 839-2091