The following letter was sent to L.A. County Waterworks District
Your requests to conserve water (flyer included in your billing for period Jan 8, 2004 to March 8, signs currently along PCH saying that water conservation is an “urgent” matter and Malibu Times article March 13) are incredibly disturbing in light of the fact that your regular bi-monthly bills include an irritating and unfair charge for a minimum 20 units of water, whether or not that entire amount is actually used.
I consciously try to conserve, and your records will show that my address uses only a small fraction of the minimum amount during most billing periods. I irrigate reasonably. I use a broom or vacuum most often instead of a hose (an easier method) to clean hardscape areas. But why should I continue to do these and other things in an effort to conserve? I can’t think of a better incentive to use water unnecessarily (i.e., waste) than to be charged for water whether or not it is used. Your billing encourages the patterned consumption of the entire minimum 20 units whether necessary or not!
If it is somehow not cost effective for you unless each customer is charged routinely for the minimum 20 units (a concept I find hard to accept), some changes need to be made in order to shift this cost burden onto the shoulders of those who choose not to concern themselves with conservation. Customers should pay for only the water they use. They should be rewarded (instead of penalized) for conserving this most precious resource.
Please give me a good reason why I should not use the entire minimum amount of water paid for each billing period, other than just to be able to call myself a good guy. I am growing tired of saving so that others can squander.