SB 814, as amended, Hill. Drought: excessive water use: urban retail water suppliers.
The California Constitution declares the policy that the water resources of the state be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they are capable, that the waste or unreasonable use or unreasonable method of use of water be prevented, and that the conservation of such waters is to be exercised with a view to the reasonable and beneficial use of the waters in the interest of the people and for the public welfare. 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 a county jail for not more than 30 days, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both.
This bill would declare that excessive water use
begin delete during a state of emergency based on drought conditionsend delete by a residential customer, as specified, is begin delete prohibited.end delete This bill would require each urban retail
water supplier to establish a method to identify and begin delete restrictend delete excessive water use. This bill would authorize as a method to identify and begin deleterestrictend delete excessive water use the establishment of a rate structure that includes block tiers, water budgets, begin delete penalties for prohibited uses,end delete or rate surcharges over and above base rates for excessive water use by residential customers. This bill would authorize as a method to identify and begin delete restrictend delete excessive water use the establishment of an excessive water use ordinance, rule, or tariff condition that includes
a definition of excessive water use, as prescribed, and would make a violation of this excessive water use ordinance, rule, or tariff condition an begin delete infraction punishable by a fine of at least $500 per 100 cubic feet of water or per 748 gallons used above the excessive water use threshold established by the urban retail water supplier in a billing cycle.end delete 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.end delete
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:
Chapter 3.3 (commencing with Section 365) is
2added to Division 1 of the Water Code, to read:
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that this chapter
5furthers important state policies of encouraging water conservation
6and protecting water resources in the interest of the people and for
7the public welfare.
8(b) For the purposes of this chapter, “urban retail water supplier”
9has the same meaning as provided in Section 10608.12.
(a) Excessive water use during
begin delete a state of emergency based by a
11on drought conditionsend delete
12residential customer in a single-family residence or by a customer
13in a multiunit housing complex in which each unit is individually
14metered or submetered by the water supplier is
16(b) Each urban retail water supplier shall establish a method to
begin delete restrictend delete excessive water use, through one
18of the following options:
19(1) Establishing a rate
begin delete structureend delete that includes block tiers,
begin delete penalties for prohibited uses,end delete or rate surcharges
22over and above base rates for excessive water use by a residential
24(2) (A) Establishing an excessive water use ordinance, rule, or
25tariff condition, or amending an existing ordinance, rule, or tariff
26condition, that includes a definition of excessive water use by single-family
28residential customers and customers in multiunit housing
29complexes in which each unit is individually metered or
30submetered and may include a process to issue written warnings
31to a customer and perform a site audit of customer water usage
32prior to deeming the customer in violation. Excessive water use
33shall be measured in terms of either gallons or hundreds of cubic
34feet of water used during the urban retail water supplier’s regular
35billing cycle. In establishing the definition of excessive use, the
36 water supplier may consider factors that include, but
37are not limited to, all of the following:
38(i) Average daily use.
39(ii) Full-time occupancy of households.
40(iii) Amount of landscaped land on a property.
P4 1(iv) Rate of evapotranspiration.
2(v) Seasonal weather changes.
3(B) A violation of an excessive use ordinance, rule, or tariff
4condition established pursuant to subparagraph (A)
begin delete isend delete an infraction begin delete punishable byend delete a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500) begin delete perend delete hundred
9cubic feet of water, or
begin delete perend delete 748 gallons, used above the excessive
10water use threshold established by the urban retail water supplier
11in a billing cycle. Any fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph
12shall be added to the customer’s water bill and is due and payable
13with that water bill. Each urban retail water supplier shall have a
14process for nonpayment of the fine, which shall be consistent with
15 the water supplier’s existing
16process for nonpayment of a water bill.
17(C) A violation of an excessive water use ordinance, rule, or
18tariff condition where a demonstrable water leak at the residence
19occurred and a repair to eliminate that leak is underway shall be
20considered as a basis for granting an appeal and shall be considered
21for waiver of the charges consistent with the urban retail water
22supplier’s excessive water use ordinance and existing policies for
23leak adjustments. Other reasonable justifications for excessive
24water use shall be considered by the urban retail water supplier
25 consistent with clause (i) of subparagraph (D).
begin deleteAn end deleteurban retail water
28supplier shall establish a process for the appeal of
29a fine imposed pursuant to subparagraph (B) whereby the customer
30may contest the imposition of the fine for excessive water use.
31(ii) As part of the appeal process, the customer shall be provided
32with an opportunity to provide evidence of a bona fide reason for
33the excessive water use, including evidence of a water
begin delete leak in a medical reason, or any
34accordance with subparagraph (C),end delete
35other reasonable justification for the water use, as determined by
36the urban retail water supplier.
This chapter applies only
begin delete duringend delete
a period for which the Governor has issued a
12proclamation of a state of emergency under the California
13Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section
148550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code) based on
begin delete drought conditions.end delete
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
34Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
35the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
36district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
37infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
38for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
39the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
P6 1the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California