LA Shows How Water Conservation and Efficient Water Rates Produce Affordable and Sustainable Use

Geographical Focus: 
California Water Efficiency Partnership and Alliance for Water Efficiency
Published Date: 
June 1, 2018

Study Demonstrates Water Conservation’s Pay Off for Ratepayers.

The study analyzed LADWP’s water conservation efforts and impact over the past several decades. LADWP provides water to more than 4 million residents in the City of Los Angeles. Over the years, LADWP has been a leader in water efficiency and conservation. In addition to conservation programs, LADWP also utilizes water rate structures that encourage efficient water use, billing customers for only the actual amount of water they use (rather than billing a flat rate in combination with volumetric rate, as many California water providers do). 

With these programs in place, LADWP customers reduced their water use from 180 gallons per capita per day (GPCD) in 1990 to 106 GPCD in 2016--even as the population increased from 3.5 to 4 million people. 

As water use decreased, LADWP avoided roughly $11 billion in costs from 1990 to 2016 that would have come from having to purchase additional water to serve 500,000 more people, the study found. The result: Customer bills are nearly 27 percent lower today than they would have been without the department’s efficient rates and conservation efforts.