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Los Angeles experiences more than 20,000 water shutoffs in two years

Additional rate hikes may be on the horizon

OW Staff Writer | 6/29/2017, midnight
More than 20,000 Los Angeles County households experienced water shutoffs over the last two years, according to information released this ...

More than 20,000 Los Angeles County households experienced water shutoffs over the last two years, according to information released this week by Food and Water Watch, Union de Vecinos, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, POWER, the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water and other community groups. In 2015 and 2016, an estimated 65,000 people were affected by these water service cuts in the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and South Gate.

These shutoffs come at time when many Angelenos face a growing cost-of-living crisis and low and middle-income families are struggling to pay their bills. Southern California water agencies are set to vote on the controversial, multibillion-dollar Delta tunnels project—the most expensive water project in California history. If the tunnels are approved, low-income households in Los Angeles would end up paying higher water bills, aggravating the affordability problem. Latino communities are seeing very high rates of water shutoffs, leading advocates to wonder if they are disproportionately affected.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration just cleared the way for Governor Brown’s $20-$67 billion Delta tunnels project that water advocates fear will increase bills in Southern California without benefiting consumers.

Advocates will call on southland mayors, their city council members and the Central Basin Water Agency to take a stand against local water shutoffs and oppose the tunnels project on the Los Angeles City Hall, South Lawn, 200 N. Spring St., today at 9 a.m.

Groups expected to attend include Food and Water Watch, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Union de Vecinos L.A. Waterkeeper, Los Angeles Sierra Club, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER).