Audit of DWP Customer-Based Water Conservation Programs

The current California drought has been one of the worst in modern history. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the majority of California was experiencing extreme to exceptional drought as of April 2015, and the State’s condition was not expected to improve in the near future. As a result, all of California faces upcoming challenges regarding water use, such as regulating local, state, and federal water resources; deciding what crops to grow; and reducing urban and suburban landscape irrigation. While Los Angeles accounted for only 8% of the state’s overall water usage, everyone must do their part to address the statewide drought.

To meet the State and City’s new goals, DWP will have to decrease water usage by an additional 119,000 acre feet by 2017. Since no single program can achieve this goal alone, DWP should also establish individual program goals and budgets based on past performance and the return on investment, target high-water use customers, increase public education and outreach efforts, and consider alternatives to MWD’s rebate program moving forward.

We conducted this audit to:

  • Assess DWP’s management and oversight of customer-based water conservation programs;
  • Evaluate whether DWP effectively uses its resources for these types of water conservation programs; and,
  • Determine how customer-based water conservation programs could be improved.