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AB-1399 Diversion or use of water: penalties.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/19/2021 09:00 PM


Assembly Bill
No. 1399

Introduced by Assembly Member Flora

February 19, 2021

An act to amend Section 1052 of the Water Code, relating to water.


AB 1399, as introduced, Flora. Diversion or use of water: penalties.
Under existing law, the diversion or use of water other than as authorized by specified provisions of law is a trespass, subject to specified civil liability.
This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to those provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 1052 of the Water Code is amended to read:

 (a) The diversion or use of water subject to this division other than as authorized in this division is a trespass.
(b) The Attorney General, upon request of the board, shall institute in the superior court in and for any county where the diversion or use is threatened, is occurring, or has occurred occurred, an action for the issuance of injunctive relief as may be warranted by way of temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction.
(c) Any person or entity committing a trespass as defined in this section may be liable in an amount not to exceed the following:
(1) If the unauthorized diversion or use occurs in a critically dry year immediately preceded by two or more consecutive below normal, dry, or critically dry years years, or during a period for which the Governor has issued a proclamation of a state of emergency under the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code) based on drought conditions, the sum of the following:
(A) One thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day in which the trespass occurs.
(B) Two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each acre-foot of water diverted or used in excess of that diverter’s water rights.
(2) If the unauthorized diversion or use is not described by paragraph (1), five hundred dollars ($500) for each day in which the unauthorized diversion or use occurs.
(d) Civil liability for a violation of this section may be imposed by the superior court or the board as follows:
(1) The superior court may impose civil liability in an action brought by the Attorney General, upon request of the board, to impose, assess, and recover any sums pursuant to subdivision (c). In determining the appropriate amount, the court shall take into consideration all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, the extent of harm caused by the violation, the nature and persistence of the violation, the length of time over which the violation occurs, and the corrective action, if any, taken by the violator.
(2) The board may impose civil liability in accordance with Section 1055.
(e) All funds recovered pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Water Rights Fund established pursuant to Section 1550.
(f) The remedies prescribed in this section are cumulative and not alternative.