Today, L.A. Controller Ron Galperin, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council jointly released a report analyzing risks and opportunities for improvement at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The Industrial, Economic and Administrative Survey of the LADWP identified several challenges facing the department, including in areas such as sustainability, water and power infrastructure, information technology, cybersecurity and emergency management.
“Ensuring that L.A. residents have access to a modern, reliable public utility that delivers affordable water and power to their homes and businesses must be a top priority for the City,” said Controller Ron Galperin. “The LADWP has made progress on a number of fronts in recent years, but ethical and operational issues highlight the clear need for greater transparency and accountability at the department. This report identifies opportunities to improve how LADWP functions and serves its ratepayers in the region.”
LADWP is one of the largest public water and power utilities in the United States and serves approximately four million residents, with an asset footprint that includes over 7,300 miles of distribution mains across California and over 4,000 miles of overhead transmission circuits across five states.
One of three proprietary departments at the City of Los Angeles, the department’s operations are financed by the sale of utility services to ratepayers. A five-member Board of Water and Power Commissioners establishes policy for the LADWP. The Board members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council for five-year terms.
Areas of improvement
The report outlined several key recommendations for improving service reliability and resiliency. Some issues identified in the audit include:
- addressing the challenges created by impact of climate change, including periods of sustained drought, which continue to affect the delivery of water and power service to ratepayers
- focusing more on the threat posed by aging infrastructure in both the water and power systems, which could impact service reliability and cause a spike in long-term costs if not appropriately addressed soon
- the need to mitigate increasing physical and cyber security threats which could undermine service delivery and endanger the health of the utility
The industrial, economic and administrative survey was administered by City leaders and prepared by the firm Guidehouse Inc.
Read the full report at lacontroller.org/ladwp-audit.