News Worth Noting: Metropolitan Board approves funds for ad campaign & water transfers; State Auditor issues report on DWP billing system; DWP GM Marcie Edwards responds

MWD logoMetropolitan Board acts to continue delivering water-saving message in the fourth drought year; authorizes up to $71 million to secure additional supplies via water market:In what is shaping up as a fourth straight drought year in California, Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors today selected a Los Angeles-based advertising firm to continue to aggressively promote region-wide conservation in 2015 and maintain water reserves for future years.  …  In another water management development, the board voted to enter the water market and bolster the region’s available supplies by authorizing up to $71 million to secure up to 100,000 acre-feet of additional supplies through one-year water transfers with Sacramento Valley water districts. “Today’s actions position us to better withstand and respond to continuing drought conditions,” said Metropolitan board Chairman Randy Record. “A successful education and advertising campaign will further motivate Southland consumers and businesses to conserve even more water and eliminate wasteful The water transfers will augment regional supplies to meet demands this year.” ... ”  Read more from Metropolitan Water District here:  Board actions on transfers-ad campaign FINAL

ca state auditorLos Angeles Department of Water and Power – Consequences Linked to Its Premature Launch of Its Customer Information System May Push Total Costs Beyond $200 Million:Overseen by the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners (board), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (department) provides water and electricity to roughly 3.8 million residents and businesses. To assist the department in managing its core business operations—such as billing for water and power usage and managing customer service—it launched a new customer information system (CIS) in 2013. Immediately after CIS’s launch, the department’s customers began complaining of late utility bills, unwarranted shut-off notices, and excessive wait times to speak with customer service representatives.  Our audit of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (department) customer information system (CIS) highlighted the following:  Over time, the department more than doubled its original budget for implementing CIS—from $87 million to nearly $181 million; The department minimized or ignored the severity of issues raised regarding CIS’s readiness before launching it. ... ”  Read the California State Auditor’s report here:  Fact sheet, brief report, full report

LADWP-LogoLADWP Marcie Edwards releases statement on California State Auditor’s report:The Legislative Audit Report echoes many of the findings of our expert third-party review, without going into the same level of depth and detail of our own report.  It includes recommendations to strengthen communication and oversight of future projects by the Board, with which LADWP agrees.  While we agree with the auditor’s recommendations, we disagree with the basis for making them.  Our strong disagreement is based on the findings of an independent investigation undertaken on behalf of the City of Los Angeles and the LADWP, which confirmed that consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the vendor hired to implement the new customer billing system: (i) intentionally misrepresented its ability to implement the new customer billing system; (ii) intentionally failed to disclose material information to the LADWP, including facts concerning PwC’s failure to properly implement a nearly identical new customer billing system for the Cleveland  Water Department; and (iii) breached several material provisions of the contract that governed implementation of the new system.  … ”  Read the full statement here:  Statement by LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards Regarding the State Legislative Audit Report on Implementation of the Customer Care and Billing System


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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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