“Los Angeles nears water rationing”

Under the plan adopted in principle by the governing board of the L.A. Department of Water and Power, homes and businesses would pay a penalty rate — nearly double normal prices — for any water they use in excess of a reduced monthly allowance.

The rationing scheme is expected to take effect in May unless the City Council acts before then to reject it — a move seen as unlikely since Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for the measure under a water-shortage plan last week.

The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, one of the state’s chief sources of fresh surface water, is far below normal, and reservoirs fed by Sierra runoff are badly depleted as well, due to a statewide drought now in its third year.

http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE51H0AL20090218

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