Los Angeles City Council could approve water-conservation plan

Los Angeles City Council could approve water-conservation plan

Column: Karen Bass appears headed to victory. L.A. needs fixing, let’s hope she can deliver. By Chris McPheron, Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2014

The Los Angeles City Council on Monday night could easily vote early next week to approve the city’s long-delayed water-conservation plan, which would require residents to pay more to fix their toilets and water faucets.

The vote will take place before the council’s Finance Committee meeting Tuesday, after which it will go to the full council for approval.

If approved, the plan will include a two-year moratorium on adding new toilets and fountains, with additional funding to improve existing toilets and faucets.

That comes after an initial vote in August that failed 5 to 2.

The original vote came just weeks after President Obama’s call for voluntary water conservation — an idea he later touted during his State of the Union address. The California Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that if Los Angeles residents used 1.5 gallons every minute for a day’s worth of water, the state could save 1.2 million acre-feet of groundwater — enough water to drink for every person in Los Angeles County.

The plan proposed by City Councilman Paul Krekorian — the only vote that can be scheduled before June 30 — is in line with the state’s voluntary goal, and the council is expected to vote for the plan Tuesday.

The plan was crafted after a summer of contentious debate about the city’s water use, including the possibility of a $200 million water-conservation plan at the City Council’s June meeting and another vote on the issue by the full council in December.

Opponents have argued that residents who would pay for the water fixes — by using a two-year moratorium on toilets and fountains — would then have to pay for a two-year moratorium on water purchases for other uses.

But Krekorian argues that the city also must give more money to the water department, which has been starved for funding for years.

“The water department is getting an $80-billion pension liability. The pension contribution we

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