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California’s Water Problems

While water prices may not accurately reflect the true value of this resourceto certain agricultural centers in the state, this is not so in urbanized Southern California. Metropolitan Water District has made major changes in water-pricing policies in the lastdecade.

Incentive programs introduced in the 1980s to better manage existing supplies through waterconservation, reuse, water banking and seasonal pricing are all part of the reason why after four consecutive dry years this region is still relatively unharmed by the drought.

Nevertheless, because the drought has now moved into a fifth year, MWD has imposed a phased mandatory conservation program on its 27-member public agencies. A crucial element of this program is a 200% surcharge for water ordered beyond that allocated. Conversely, those agencies that successfully reduce water use beyond the target amount will be rewarded with a 50% rebate. CARL BORONKAY General Manager, MWD


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