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Dealing With Water Shortage

March 08, 1991

On the first day of mandatory water conservation, I went for a walk in my neighborhood. The walk was interrupted by a stream of water pouring over the sidewalk. The source was a broken pipe in the front yard of an unoccupied home. When I called the Department of Water and Power to report this, a recording informed me that DWP would take no questions about water conservation. The next person I spoke with told me I would have to pay $20 if I wanted the water turned off. Finally, I found someone who promised to send a worker to the house. That person would decide whether DWP would take responsibility for turning off the water, or if it would be better to let it keep going.

We all understand the importance of saving water. But an experience like this makes me think that the bureaucrats need to take a closer look at their own efforts at facilitating water conservation.

ANN A. SATO

Los Angeles

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