Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 1. GENERAL STATE POWERS OVER WATER [100 - 540]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 368. )

CHAPTER 3.5. Water Conservation Programs [375 - 378]
  ( Chapter 3.5 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 634. )

375.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, any public entity that supplies water at retail or wholesale for the benefit of persons within the service area or area of jurisdiction of the public entity may, by ordinance or resolution adopted by a majority of the members of the governing body after holding a public hearing upon notice and making appropriate findings of necessity for the adoption of a water conservation program, adopt and enforce a water conservation program to reduce the quantity of water used by those persons for the purpose of conserving the water supplies of the public entity.

(b) With regard to water delivered for other than agricultural uses, the ordinance or resolution may specifically require the installation of water-saving devices that are designed to reduce water consumption. The ordinance or resolution may also encourage water conservation through rate structure design.

(c) For the purposes of this chapter, “public entity” means a city, whether general law or chartered, county, city and county, special district, agency, authority, any other municipal public corporation or district, or any other political subdivision of the state.

(d) For the purposes of this section and subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 377, “person” means any person, firm, association, organization, partnership, business, trust, corporation, company, or public agency, including any city, county, city and county, district, joint powers authority, or any agency or department of a public agency.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 27, Sec. 9. Effective June 24, 2015.)

375.5.
  

(a) A public entity may undertake water conservation and public education programs in conjunction with school districts, public libraries, or any other public entity.

(b) (1) A public entity may undertake water conservation and public education programs using an information booklet or materials for use in connection with the use or transfer of real estate containing up to four residential units. For the purposes of this subdivision, the public entity may use water conservation materials prepared by the department.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that on or before December 31, 2007, a review of the program be conducted to obtain information on both of the following matters:

(A) The extent to which public entities have undertaken water conservation and public education programs referred to in paragraph (1).

(B) The extent to which water conservation may be attributable to the implementation of water conservation and public education programs referred to in paragraph (1).

(c) A public entity may take into account any programs undertaken pursuant to this section in a rate structure design implemented pursuant to Section 375.

(d) The Legislature finds and declares that a program undertaken pursuant to this section is in the public interest, serves a public purpose, and will promote the health, welfare, and safety of the people of the state.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 27, Sec. 10. Effective June 24, 2015.)

376.
  

(a) Any ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to Section 375 is effective upon adoption. Within 10 days after its adoption, the ordinance or resolution shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in full in a newspaper of general circulation that is printed, published, and circulated in the public entity. If there is no such newspaper, the ordinance or resolution shall be posted within 10 days after its adoption in three public places within the public entity.

(b) The publication of ordinances or resolutions, as required by subdivision (a), may be satisfied by either of the following actions:

(1) The public entity may publish a summary of a proposed ordinance, resolution, or proposed amendment to an existing ordinance or resolution. The summary shall be prepared by an official designated by the governing body. A summary shall be published and a certified copy of the full text of the proposed ordinance, resolution, or amendment shall be posted in the office of the governing body at least five days prior to the governing body’s meeting at which the proposed ordinance, resolution, or amendment is to be adopted. Within 15 days after adoption of the ordinance, resolution, or amendment, the governing body shall publish a summary of the ordinance, resolution, or amendment with the names of those members voting for and against the ordinance, resolution, or amendment and the official shall post in the office of the governing body a certified copy of the full text of the adopted ordinance, resolution, or amendment along with the names of those members voting for and against the ordinance, resolution, or amendment.

(2) If the official designated by the governing body determines that it is not feasible to prepare a fair and adequate summary of the proposed or adopted ordinance, resolution, or amendment, and if the governing body so orders, a display advertisement of at least one-quarter of a page in a newspaper of general circulation in the county shall be published at least five days prior to the governing body meeting at which the proposed ordinance, resolution, or amendment is to be adopted. Within 15 days after adoption of the ordinance, resolution, or amendment, a display advertisement of at least one-quarter of a page shall be published. The advertisement shall indicate the general nature of, and provide information about, the proposed or adopted ordinance, resolution, or amendment, including information sufficient to enable the public to obtain copies of the complete text of the ordinance, resolution, or amendment, and the names of those members voting for and against the ordinance, resolution, or amendment.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 332, Sec. 89. Effective January 1, 2010.)

377.
  

(a) From and after the publication or posting of any ordinance or resolution pursuant to Section 376, a violation of a requirement of a water conservation program adopted pursuant to Section 376 is a misdemeanor. A person convicted under this subdivision shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 30 days, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both.

(b) A court or public entity may hold a person civilly liable in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for a violation of any of the following:

(1) An ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to Section 376.

(2) An emergency regulation adopted by the board under Section 1058.5, unless the board regulation provides that it cannot be enforced under this section.

(c) Commencing on the 31st day after the public entity notified a person of a violation described in subdivision (b), the person additionally may be civilly liable in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) plus five hundred dollars ($500) for each additional day on which the violation continues.

(d) Remedies prescribed in this section are cumulative and not alternative, except that no liability shall be recoverable under this section for any violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) if the board has filed a complaint pursuant to Section 1846 alleging the same violation.

(e) A public entity may administratively impose the civil liability described in subdivisions (b) and (c) after providing notice and an opportunity for a hearing. The public entity shall initiate a proceeding under this subdivision by a complaint issued pursuant to Section 377.5. The public entity shall issue the complaint at least 30 days before the hearing on the complaint and the complaint shall state the basis for the proposed civil liability order.

(f) (1) In determining the amount of civil liability to assess, a court or public entity shall take into consideration all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, the nature and persistence of the violation, the extent of the harm caused by the violation, the length of time over which the violation occurs, and any corrective action taken by the violator.

(2) The civil liability calculated pursuant to paragraph (1) for the first violation of subdivision (b) by a residential water user shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) except in extraordinary situations where the court or public entity finds all of the following:

(A) The residential user had actual notice of the requirement found to be violated.

(B) The conduct was intentional.

(C) The amount of water involved was substantial.

(g) Civil liability imposed pursuant to this section shall be paid to the public entity and expended solely for the purposes of this chapter.

(h) An order setting administrative civil liability shall become effective and final upon issuance of the order and payment shall be made. Judicial review of any final order shall be pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(i) In addition to the remedies prescribed in this section, a public entity may enforce water use limitations established by an ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to this chapter, or as otherwise authorized by law, by a volumetric penalty in an amount established by the public entity.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 86, Sec. 305. Effective January 1, 2017.)

377.5.
  

(a) A complaint or citation under subdivision (b) of Section 377 or subdivision (d) of Section 1058.5 may be issued by any of the following:

(1) A code enforcement officer, as defined in Section 829.5 of the Penal Code.

(2) A designee of the chief executive officer of a public entity authorized to adopt an ordinance or resolution under Section 375.

(3) A designee of the chief executive officer of a city, county, or city and county.

(b) For purposes of this section, the term “chief executive officer” includes a city manager, general manager, or other employee of the public entity who is the highest ranking officer or employee, other than a member of a multimember governing body, with responsibility for the operations of the public entity.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 27, Sec. 12. Effective June 24, 2015.)

378.
  

A public entity may enter into agreements with other public entities, businesses, community associations, or private entities to provide water conservation services and measures and materials for implementing water conservation programs adopted pursuant to this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 31, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)

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