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The hefty price of updating LA’s pipes

Crews working to repair water mains in a photo released Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
LADWP
LADWP crews working to repair water mains in a photo released Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

An L.A. Times review of the Department of Water and Power report revealed that it could cost as much as $15 billion dollars to fix the city’s aging pipe system.

A recently released report from the Department of Water and Power revealed that it could cost as much as $15 billion dollars to fix the city’s aging water infrastructure.

Many of the city’s pipes are nearly a century-old and aren’t reinforced against strong earthquakes like the Sylmar quake in 1971 and the Northridge quake in 1994. Pipe bursts have become a frequent occurrence in the city, at a time when California’s water situation is dire.

With more than 7000 miles of pipe to replace, retrofitting L.A. will be a massive undertaking. A $15 billion-dollar price tag, however, raises a lot of questions from ratepayers about how the city plans to fund the overhaul. Many fear the projects could require significant rate hikes.

Do you foresee rate hikes in the near future? Where does L.A. get the money to make the repairs? Do you think the problem is really as bad as the DWP says it is?

KPCC has obtained the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power report, and you can view it below.

Guests:

David Nahai, consultant and former CEO of the DWP

Jack Humphreville, chairman of the Neighborhood DWP Advocacy Committee Council and columnist with the CityWatch Blog

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