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What the DWP needs to do before raising water rates

What the DWP needs to do before raising water rates
The Department of Water and Power building in downtown Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's need for more money to pay for fixed costs now that we have drastically reduced water consumption is quite predictable. Its proposal to raise water rates is as expected as the sunrise — and as the Dodgers losing in the playoffs. ("Department of Water and Power takes rate proposal to social media," Oct. 21)

The DWP is very much at fault for any shortfalls it has. There are grossly overpaid managers, slush funds without accountability and broken water mains due to poor management.

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Let's talk about a rate increase only after most of the incompetent managers are fired, money from the slush funds is given back to ratepayers and a reorganization with a new billing system is implemented.

Terry German, Winnetka

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To the editor: During my tenure as a director of the Laguna Beach County Water

District in the 1990s, we addressed the problem of reduced income from declining revenue caused by water conservation during a drought like the one that confronts the DWP today.

We found a partial solution in separating the cost of maintaining the infrastructure to supply the water to our ratepayers from the cost of the water supplied.

Today, the biggest part of my water bill is the meter charge, which is intended to support the infrastructure. The smallest portion is for the cost of the water supplied.

This solution seems to deal with the problem of the cost for getting the water to me remaining the same no matter how much water I use. While it doesn't solve all the fiscal problems caused by drought, it has brought increased stability to our ratepayers.

J.J. Gasparotti, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: Typical of the DWP to penalize the people who have cut back on water use by making them pay more starting next year.

The people who should pay more are the millionaires and billionaires in Bel-Air, Holmby Hills and nearby areas of Los Angeles who guzzle thousands of gallons a day. A $1-a-gallon charge would probably make up for the DWP deficit.

No family needs to use more than 500 gallons a day unless everyone suffers from diarrhea and has to flush the toilet 20 times a minute.

Ashak M. Rawji, Hollywood

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To the editor: We need Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to deal with the DWP public employees. They already earn much more than private-sector employees for similar jobs.

Unlike at private companies that are losing money, DWP workers would never consider taking a pay cut.

Edward Gilbert, Studio City

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