Drought busters

In a recent article entitled "After a dry spell, DWP's Drought Busters program is back," the LA Times profiles the DWP response to the looming water rationing.

Remember, you read it here first (by a day, but I did scoop the Daily News and LA Times).

...Last week, city leaders gathered at the DWP to announce the revival of the Drought Busters program, which last was used during the severe drought in the early 1990s.

The name is a bit of a misnomer. The Drought Busters -- six full-time DWP employees -- do not actually have the ability to change the weather. They do, however, get to drive around town in hybrid cars and tell people to stop wasting water.

Officials at the news conference -- including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa -- took pains to say that mandatory water restrictions still are not in effect. They also passed out a list of water uses prohibited by law in L.A., but noted that the law currently isn't being enforced.

For example, it is supposedly illegal to water your lawn this time of year from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. because it's wasteful due to evaporation. But no one, including the Drought Busters, is going to write you a ticket. Instead, the busters will politely insist that you stop....

...he first new restriction would be that customers could use only 90% of the water they normally use during a billing period. Residents who don't abide would get a warning for the first offense, a $50 surcharge for the second and $150 for the third. A fourth offense would allow the DWP to put a device on the pipes coming into the customer's house to restrict water flow....

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