In response to an ongoing water shortage, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has instituted a new rate schedule that charges higher prices to heavy users. The new rates, which take effect on June 1, penalize residents who do not reduce their water usage by 15 percent.

Customers who reduce their usage from 2,800 cubic feet per billing cycle to 2,400 cubic feet will pay less per month, but those who do not reduce their usage will pay a premium rate for each gallon they use over the 2,400 cubic foot allotment, according to LADWP. That could mean up to $11 more a month. "We are experiencing both a natural drought and a regulatory drought due to restrictions placed on the importation of water from the [Sacramento-San Joaquin River] Delta, and, though our customers have cut their use, we believe that significantly more conservation will be needed," LADWP CEO and General Manager David Nahai said in a statement. "Simple steps, such as reducing outdoor watering to only two days per week, are relatively effortless but add up to big savings."

For more information on the new rates and Los Angeles' existing water use restrictions, visit http://www.ladwpnews.com/go/doc/1475/261452/.