Governor Jerry Brown Signs New Bill to Impose Penalties on Excessive Water Users
SACRAMENTO, CA – California citizens will need to watch their water usage even more carefully as the state is letting water agencies enact new penalties on excessive users during times of restricted water use.
"Households that guzzle water—while their neighbors and most other Californians abide by mandatory reductions—will no longer be able to hide and persist in their excess," said State Democratic Senator Jerry Hill of Redwood City, who wrote the measure, according to The Mercury News.
Governor Jerry Brown signed this new water law into being late Monday, which will go into effect on January 1. The law dictates that every retail urban water suppliers with more than 3,000 customers must develop definitive rules establishing “excessive water use,” allowing penalties to follow for the rules being surpassed.
Once these rules are established, water agencies will be able to charge a higher amount to people who use more than their established target, or fine institutions which are using more than their set amount. If a fine is triggered for a water consumer, this new state law mandates that the violator’s name be made public.
Hill reportedly told that The Mercury News that he pushed the bill, called SB 814, after recognizing the disparity between water users who were abusing restrictions, and the lack of incentives for them to cease their practices.
Hill continued to state that prior to the law being signed, users could simply sign a check after being charged the same rate per amount used for water, no matter how much water they were using as penalties and restrictions were only electively developed by water agencies.
Such high tier names which were released by the East Bay Municipal Utility District as excessive water use violators, included Oakland A’s Exec Billy Beane, Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil, and Chevron Vice President George Kirkland.
The new law and the resulting restrictions will be mandatory any time California is declared in a drought emergency by Governor Brown. The state of California has been in an emergency state since January of 2014.
How will this law impact the industry, and what further developments will occur as the state pursues water conservation? AndNowUKnow will keep you updated as the news unfolds.