MALIBU—Los Angeles County supervisors may enforce surcharges of 100 to 200 percent if water customers in the cities of Malibu, Topanga Canyon, and Marina Del Rey do not reduce water consumption to meet state drought relief targets.

Using water patterns from previous years, county staff proposed that these areas must reduce consumption by 36 percent to avoid surcharges. The baseline for where customers need to reduce their water dates back to their consumption amount previous to officials’ recommendations of voluntary conservation. Water rates will not change for customers who are under the target usage.

One issue some Malibu city council members have with the new penalties is the harm it does to people who actually do conserve. Those customers who have been conserving water for years will endure the same penalties people who waste water will encounter. The proposal is still being decided. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.