To the editor: Instead of trying to set a water-use quota backed up by fines, it would be far easier to restructure the usage charges based on the current tiered schedule. ("California officials admit they have incomplete water usage data," July 26)
For example, if the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power were to double the charges on the second tier and quadruple the charges for any usage above that, it would probably prod more consumers to reduce their water consumption immediately without incurring yet more expenses and delay in its implementation.
American consumers are more sensitive to their pocketbooks than anything else, as evidenced by the inverse correlation between the price of a gallon of gas and the total mileage driven by motorists.
Our water shortage is dire and calls for an immediate solution, not more studies.
John T. Chiu, Newport Beach
To the editor: If the state is serious about reducing water usage, a fine place to start would be with the various state agencies and cities.
Mid-afternoon the other day, I took an exit off the 405 Freeway and noticed sprinklers drenching a median made up mostly of weeds. And most of that water was actually landing on asphalt, missing the weeds entirely.
It is kind of hard to take this effort seriously when you have the government absolutely wasting water like this.
Richard Hormel, Los Angeles
To the editor: We will never get a major sector of the population to conserve as long as "all you can use" water is included for apartment renters. Landlords have no way to induce tenants to conserve, and there is no motivation for them to do so on their own.
Altruism doesn't seem to work here.