The region’s water wholesaler will continue supply cuts to downstream agencies for an unprecedented second year in a row, and will raise their rates by 15 percent over two years.
Both actions could eventually help drive rate increases and water-use restrictions for consumers in Orange County, though no immediate effects are expected.
The Metropolitan Water District board in Los Angeles voted Tuesday to keep in place last year’s 10 percent cut in supplies to its 26 member agencies in Southern California. With other restrictions and reductions, however, the actual cut in supply is more like 20 percent, said Metropolitan spokesman Bob Muir.
The board members blamed pumping restrictions on the California Delta meant to avoid harming troubled fish species, the threatened delta smelt and salmon.
The pumping restrictions are preventing the state from capturing and storing enough water to meet the demands of the nearly 19 million people who depend on the agency’s water, said Metropolitan general manager Jeff Kightlinger.