LADWP: cheaper to fight than fix

After a billion dollars and eleven years, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is suing to stop dust remediation in Owens Valley. It claims that Eastern Sierra monitors are moving goal posts for compliance, but the underlying strategy looks more like a business decision that DWP general manager recently summed up with the remark, "The legal fees pale in comparison to the cost of dust control.”

Advocating for the future

Denied the full rate hike that it sought from an irate city council last year, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power acceded to pressure to create a position for a “rate payer advocate.” The fear among conservationists was that the council and advocate would then thwart future rate hikes needed to replace leaking pipes, for conservation and a shift to alternative energy. One and a half general managers later (one was interim), the LADWP is now staging public workshops to explain to the public why it needs to invest now for water and power security later. The graphic above comes from a PowerPoint that accompanies the DWP meeting schedule. The first meeting, in Van Nuys, is scheduled for this Wednesday from 6.30-9pm at the Marvin Braude Constituent Center. Click here for background and here for the full workshop schedule.

UPDATE 6/15/11: The Los Angeles Times reports today

Who he?

He looks less like the father of LA’s water system William Mulholland (left) and more like ER’s Anthony Edwards, but according to the Los Angeles Times, energy consultant Ron Nichols, managing director of the Seattle-based Navigant, is the new nominee to become the next general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

More will become clear about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s latest candidate for a post whose politics have chewed up and spat out nine water department GMs in the last ten years. All the Nichols bio page at Navigant offers is a nugget that makes him sound like a Wall Street version of Wen Jiabao. “Ron Nichols is a Managing Director in the Energy practice [sic] has over [sic] 30 years of experience in utility asset and enterprise financing, utility mergers and acquisition, and power supply portfolio planning and procurement. Mr. Nichols was the

Interim phantom

The slaughterhouse at La Villette, 1929. Photo: Eli Lotar. Source: Documents magazine, November 1929.

Austin Beutner, interim general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, wants to sell assets and the department headquarters rather than ask for rate increases to pay for renewable energy reports the Los Angeles Times. The Times describes Beutner as the fifth general manager in three years, a break from the standing bio note that he’s also the ninth GM in 10 years.

Given that all GMs seem to be interim, if the department does sell its headquarters, it could always relocate the general manager’s office to Farmer John in Vernon. Click here for a sketch Beutner budget released last week, or here for KPCC’s Molly Peterson’s preview of today’s plans for specific divestments. LA Observed says Beutner and City Council president Eric Garcetti will appear today on KPCC’s Patt Morrison show

Water and power(point)

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power yesterday released a sketch operating budget for 2010/11, which the Los Angeles Times reports may spell rate hikes from 4% to 8% for consumers. For those interested in the source of their water and power, the budget offers some nice graphics (lifted left; click to enlarge). As a couple of asides, the cost of converting from coal to renewable sources of energy inspired the recent rebellion in the Los Angeles City Council; and consistent clean hydropower from Hoover Dam is dependent on adequate elevations in Lake Mead, a source threatened by inadequate conservation programs by the department and its umbrella agency, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Click here to be taken to the proposed LADWP budget, or here for yesterday’s report card for the department, which in the face of incompetent leadership by the Mayor of Los Angeles and turbulent

« go backkeep looking »
  • After the lawn

  • As you were saying: Comments

  • As I was saying: Recent posts

  • Garden blogs

  • Contact

    Emily Green by e-mail at [at]
  • Categories