SB 814, as amended, Hill. Drought: excessive water use: urban retail water suppliers.
The California Constitution
begin delete requires the reasonable and beneficial use of water.end delete Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board to take all appropriate proceedings or actions to prevent waste, unreasonable use, unreasonable method of use, or
unreasonable method of diversion of water in this state. Existing law authorizes any public entity, as defined, that supplies water at retail or wholesale for the benefit of persons within the service area or area of jurisdiction of the public entity to, by ordinance or resolution, adopt and enforce a water conservation program to reduce the quantity of water used for the purpose of conserving the water supplies of the public entity. Existing law provides that a violation of a requirement of a water conservation program is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in begin delete theend delete county jail for not more than 30 days, or by fine not exceeding $1,000, or both.
This bill would declare that excessive water
begin delete use, as defined by each urban retail water supplier, is a waste or unreasonable use of water. This bill would prohibit excessive water use by a residential customer andend delete would make a violation of this begin delete prohibitionend delete an infraction punishable by a fine of at least $500 per 100 cubic feet of water
used above the excessive water use begin delete definitionend delete in a billing cycle. By creating a new infraction, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would provide that these provisions apply only during a period for which the Governor has issued a proclamation of a state of emergency based on drought conditions.
The California Public Records Act requires that public records, as defined, be open to inspection at all times during the hours of a state or local agency and that every person has a right to inspect any public record, with specified
exceptions. Existing law prohibits the act from being construed to require the disclosure of certain information concerning utility customers of local agencies,
begin delete with specified exceptions.end delete
This bill would
begin delete require certain information about residential customers that violate the prohibition on excessive water use to be made available under the act upon request.end delete By increasing the duties of local officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings if that enactment contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 6254.16 of the Government Code is
2amended to read:
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require
4the disclosure of the name, credit history, utility usage data, home
5address, or telephone number of utility customers of local agencies,
6except that disclosure of name, utility usage data, and the home
7address of utility customers of local agencies shall be made
8available upon request as follows:
9(a) To an agent or authorized family member of the person to
10whom the information pertains.
11(b) To an officer or employee of another governmental agency
12when necessary for the performance of its official duties.
13(c) Upon court order or the request of a law enforcement agency
14relative to an ongoing investigation.
15(d) Upon determination by the local agency that
begin delete theend delete utility
begin delete who is the subject of the requestend delete has used utility services
17in a manner inconsistent with applicable local utility usage
begin delete policies.end delete
3(e) Upon determination by the local agency that the utility
4customer who is the subject of the request is an elected or appointed
5official with authority to determine the utility usage policies of the
6local agency, provided that the home address of an appointed
7official shall not be disclosed without his or her consent.
8(f) Upon determination by the local agency that the public
9interest in disclosure of the information clearly outweighs the
10public interest in nondisclosure.
11(g) Regarding residential customers that violate the prohibition
12on excessive water use described in Section 367 of the Water Code.
Chapter 3.3 (commencing with Section 365) is added
14to Division 1 of the Water Code, to read:
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that this chapter
begin delete is in furtherance of Section 2 of Article X of the California water resources
21Constitution as intended to prevent the unreasonable use or the
22waste of water and to protectend delete
24in the interest of the people and for the public welfare.
25(b) For the purposes of this chapter, “urban retail water supplier”
26has the same meaning as provided in Section 10608.12.
(a) (1) Each urban retail water supplier shall establish a
28definition of excessive water use by a customer of the urban retail
29water supplier that considers, but is not necessarily limited to
30addressing, all of the following factors:
31(A) Average daily use.
32(B) Full-time occupancy of households.
33(C) Amount of landscaped land on a property.
34(D) Rate of evapotranspiration.
35(2) An urban retail water supplier may also consider seasonal
36weather changes when establishing a definition of excessive water
37use by a customer of the urban retail water supplier.
38(b) An urban retail water supplier shall define and measure
39excessive water use in terms of hundreds of cubic feet of water
40used during the water supplier’s regular billing cycle.
P5 1(c) An urban retail water supplier shall adopt the definition of
2excessive water use and make any other changes necessary to
3implement this chapter by adopting a new rule or ordinance or by
4amending an existing rule or ordinance relating to drought or water
(a) Excessive water use is a waste or unreasonable use
8(b) Excessive water use by a residential customer is prohibited.
9(c) A violation of subdivision (b) is an infraction punishable by
10a fine of at least five hundred dollars ($500) per hundred cubic
11feet of water used above the excessive water use definition in a
12billing cycle. Any fine imposed pursuant to this subdivision shall
13be added to the customer’s water bill and is due and payable with
14that water bill. Each urban retail water supplier shall have a process
15for nonpayment of the fine, which shall be consistent with the
16water supplier’s existing process for nonpayment of a water bill.
17That process may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the
18imposition of nonpayment penalties, interruption of water service,
19and placing of a lien on the customer’s real property.
20(d) A violation of subdivision (b) where a demonstrable water
21leak at the residence occurred and a fix to that leak is underway
22shall not be punishable pursuant to subdivision (c). Other
23reasonable justifications for excessive water use shall be considered
24consistent with subdivision (e).
25(e) (1) An urban retail water supplier shall establish a process
26for the appeal of a violation of subdivision (b) whereby the
27customer may contest the imposition of any fine or penalty for
28excessive water use.
29(2) As part of the appeal process, the customer shall be provided
30with an opportunity to provide evidence of a bona fide reason for
31the excessive water use, including evidence of a water leak meeting
32the requirements of subdivision (d), a medical reason, or any other
33reasonable justification for the water use.
This chapter applies only during a period for which the
18Governor has issued a proclamation of a state of emergency under
19the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing
20with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government
21Code) based on drought conditions.
The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of
23this act, which amends Section 6254.16 of the Government Code,
24furthers, within the meaning of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b)
25of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the purposes
26of that constitutional section as it relates to the right of public
27access to the meetings of local public bodies or the writings of
28local public officials and local agencies. Pursuant to paragraph (7)
29of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California
30Constitution, the Legislature makes the following findings:
31The Legislature finds that it is in the public’s interest to be made
32aware of excessive water use during a drought in order to help
begin delete prevent the unreasonable use or waste of waterend delete
to protect water resources in the interest of the
35people and for the public welfare.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
37Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
38the costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district
39under this act would result from a legislative mandate that is within
40the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article
P8 1I of the California Constitution or because the costs that may be
2incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred
3because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a
4crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction,
5within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or
6changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6
7of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.