The city of Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Water District disagree over whether the names and addresses of people and companies who received turf removal rebates from the MWD should be made public. The skirmish points to a growing debate state wide about whether water-related data should be more transparent.
The Metropolitan Water District spent more than $340 million on its popular turf removal program. After initially withholding the information, Metropolitan told the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power it intended to release first and last names of applicants and recipients of turf rebates, as well as specific street addresses, in response to requests made under the California Public Records Act.
This makes sense as there is debate on how many parties and what, if any, connections, were in place when these monies were doled out.
As a result, homeowners and businesses that have received rebate money could find their data made public within a week.
“We believe this is public information because it involves the use of public funds,” said Bob Muir, with the Metropolitan Water District.