BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 814  


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          Date of Hearing:  June 29, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          SB 814  
          (Hill) - As Amended June 21, 2016


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill prohibits excessive water use by a residential  
          customer during statewide or local emergency drought conditions  
          and requires urban retail water suppliers to establish a method  








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          to identify and discourage excessive water use.  Specifically,  
          this bill: 





          1)Prohibits excessive water use by residential customers in  
            single-family residence or in multiunit housing that is  
            individually metered or submetered by the urban water  
            supplier.

          2)Requires an urban retail water supplier to establish a method  
            to identify and discourage excessive water use through a rate  
            structure or by ordinance, rule, tariff condition, or  
            procedure.

          3)Applies specific conditions to how an ordinance, rule, tariff  
            condition, or procedure developed by an urban retail water  
            supplier must apply in fully metered service areas.

          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Negligible, if any state costs.


          COMMENTS: 





          1)Purpose.  According to the author, while most Californians  
            have reduced their water use and face stiff penalties for  
            waste, there are some who use as much water as they want  
            without repercussions.  This bill requires water districts to  
            have policies and penalties to target and reduce excessive  
            water use.








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          2)Background.  In response to drought, a fine of up to $500 may  
            be assessed for wasteful water use that includes: a) using a  
            hose to wash a car without an automatic shutoff valve; b)  
            washing down a driveway or sidewalk; c) watering outdoor  
            landscaped area within 48 hours of rain; watering lawns in a  
            manner that causes runoff; and watering outdoor landscapes on  
            the wrong day or time.



            There are 411 urban water suppliers in the state and since  
            June of 2015. According to the State Resources Water Control  
            Board (SWRCB), an average of 8,900 penalties per month have  
            been issued for either water waste or drought surcharges  
            (charges imposed for water use over a specified volumetric  
            amount).  Despite existing fines on typical water users, there  
            is no requirement for penalties on individuals who are heavy  
            water users.





            While local agencies can prohibit excessive water use, this  
            bill makes it a requirement that there is a process to do so  
            when there are local water shortage conditions.  This bill  
            allows local discretion in the development of the  
            identification and enforcement that occurs locally against  
            excessive water use.





            While there is limited anecdotal evidence, several newspaper  
            articles suggest that when penalties on heavy water users have  
            been put in place, there has been a significant increase in  








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            water conservation.








          Analysis Prepared by:Jennifer Galehouse / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081