Code Section

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. )

  
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) A regulation adopted by the board under Section 1058.5 or Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 10609) of Part 2.55 of Division 6, unless the board regulation provides that it cannot be enforced under this section or provides for a lesser applicable maximum penalty.

(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. 2018, Ch. 14, Sec. 2. (SB 606) Effective January 1, 2019.)