Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 1. REGULATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES [201 - 3297]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

PART 2. SPECIFIC PUBLIC UTILITIES [2701 - 2897]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 2. Water Companies [2701 - 2715]
  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

2701.
  

Any person, firm, or corporation, their lessees, trustees, receivers or trustees appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, controlling, operating, or managing any water system within this State, who sells, leases, rents, or delivers water to any person, firm, corporation, municipality, or any other political subdivision of the State, whether under contract or otherwise, is a public utility, and is subject to the provisions of Part 1 of Division 1 and to the jurisdiction, control, and regulation of the commission, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

2702.
  

Any corporation or association which is organized for the purpose of delivering water solely to its stockholders or members at cost, and which delivers water to others than its stockholders or members, or to the state or any department or agency thereof or any school district, or to any other mutual water company, for compensation, is a public utility and is subject to Part 1 (commencing with Section 201) and to the jurisdiction, control, and regulation of the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 142, Sec. 130.)

2703.
  

Any corporation or association which is organized both for the purpose of delivering water to its stockholders or members at cost, and to persons, firms, corporations, municipalities, or other political subdivisions of the state, is a public utility and is subject to Part 1 (commencing with Section 201) and to the jurisdiction, control, and regulation of the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 142, Sec. 131.)

2704.
  

Any owner of a water supply not otherwise dedicated to public use and primarily used for domestic or industrial purposes by him or for the irrigation of his lands, who (a) sells or delivers the surplus of such water for domestic or school district purposes or for the irrigation of adjoining lands, or (b) in an emergency water shortage sells or delivers water from such supply to others for a limited period not to exceed one irrigation season, or (c) sells or delivers a portion of such water supply as a matter of accommodation to neighbors to whom no other supply of water for domestic or irrigation purposes is equally available, is not subject to the jurisdiction, control, and regulation of the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 348.)

2705.
  

Any corporation or association that is organized for the purposes of delivering water to its stockholders and members at cost, including use of works for conserving, treating, and reclaiming water, and that delivers water to no one except its stockholders or members, or to the state or any agency or department thereof, to any city, county, school district, or other public district, or any federal agency that provides fire protection or operates park facilities, or to any other mutual water company, at cost, is not a public utility, and is not subject to the jurisdiction, control or regulation of the commission. However, a mutual water company may perform the following acts without becoming a public utility and becoming subject to the jurisdiction, control or regulation of the commission:

(a) May deliver water at cost to any lessee of its stock or shares or other evidence of membership where the lease is in writing signed by the owner of the stock or shares or other evidence of membership and the lessee thereof and approved by the mutual water company.

(b) May deliver water at cost to any land leased by a stockholder, shareholder, or member of the mutual water company to a person not a stockholder, shareholder or member thereof, provided the lease is in writing signed by the stockholder, shareholder or member and the lessee of the land and approved by the mutual water company.

(c) May transfer water or water rights to, or exchange water or water rights with, another entity pursuant to state or federal law, or both.

(d) In a bona fide water emergency, but for no longer than the existence of the emergency, may deliver water at cost to any person owning or leasing real property located within or adjacent to the service area of the mutual water company, provided that the water is delivered pursuant to a written contract signed by the mutual water company and the person to whom the water is delivered.

(e) May deliver water pursuant to any contract for water service made:

(1) In settlement of litigation involving disputed water rights or any judgment in the litigation.

(2) In consideration of the conveyance of a well, water right, or easement for water distribution purposes.

All of these leases and contracts shall be preserved for a period of 10 years by a mutual water company and shall be subject to inspection by the commission.

The term “cost” as used in this section shall be construed to mean without profit.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 420, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)

2705.5.
  

Any person or corporation, and their lessees, receivers, or trustees appointed by any court, that maintains a mobilehome park or a multiple unit residential complex and provides, or will provide, water service to users through a submeter service system is not a public utility and is not subject to the jurisdiction, control, or regulation of the commission if each user of the submeter service system is charged at the rate which would be applicable if the user were receiving the water directly from the water corporation.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 144, Sec. 168.)

2705.6.
  

(a) (1) A mobilehome park that provides water service only to its tenants from water supplies and facilities that it owns, not otherwise dedicated to public service, is not a water corporation. However, if a complaint is filed with the commission by tenants of the mobilehome park that represent 10 percent or more of the park’s water service connections during any 12-month period, claiming that the water rates charged by the park are not just and reasonable or that the service is inadequate, the commission shall have jurisdiction to determine the merits of the complaint and shall determine, based on all the facts and circumstances, whether the rates charged are just and reasonable and whether the service provided is adequate.

(2) The numerical threshold of persons may include former or current tenants, or both.

(3) A person shall not file a complaint against a mobilehome park pursuant to paragraph (1) if that person has not resided in that mobilehome park within the last five years.

(b) Complaints filed pursuant to subdivision (a) are subject to this code and to the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the commission governing complaints and commission investigations.

(c) (1) A mobilehome park, as described in subdivision (a), shall provide written notice to each of the mobilehome park’s tenants to inform those tenants of their right to, and how to, file a complaint with the commission about the water rates charged or the service provided by the mobilehome park. With respect to the notice, the mobilehome park shall do all of the following:

(A) Provide the notice to new tenants at the time the tenants establish residence within the mobilehome park.

(B) Provide the notice to tenants each time the mobilehome park changes water rates or service.

(2) (A) Notwithstanding any other law, the notice provided by a mobilehome park pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be written in English, the languages set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 1632 of the Civil Code, and the language or languages of primary communication with the residents receiving the notice.

(B) The commission shall prepare and make available on its Internet Web site an approved notice in English and the languages set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 1632 of the Civil Code. In providing notice pursuant to paragraph (1), a mobilehome park shall use the then-current language made available by the commission pursuant to this subparagraph.

(3) A mobilehome park that fails to provide the notice required by this subdivision shall be subject to the penalties established in Section 2111.

(d) The commission may afford rate relief or may order the mobilehome park to improve its water supply, facilities, and services on those terms that it finds just and reasonable, or both.

(e) If the commission finds, after investigation, that the mobilehome park has charged an unjust or unreasonable rate in violation of this section subsequent to December 31, 2012, the commission shall order the mobilehome park to reimburse the complainants and any other current and former tenants affected by the rate, if no discrimination will result from the reimbursement. Reimbursement shall be calculated from the first date of collection of the unjust or unreasonable rate, with interest. The commission shall not make an order for the payment of reimbursement upon the ground of unjustness or unreasonableness if the rate in question has been previously declared by formal finding of the commission to be reasonable. The commission shall not recognize the assignment of a reimbursement claim except assignments by operation of law as in cases of death, insanity, bankruptcy, receivership, or order of court.

(f) The public advisor created pursuant to Section 321 and necessary staff of the commission shall assist the complainants.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 539, Sec. 2. (AB 1830) Effective January 1, 2013.)

2706.
  

(a) Any person, firm, or corporation, their lessees, trustees, receivers or trustees appointed by any court, who sells or delivers water exclusively to a water conservation district organized under the laws of the state or who leases or otherwise permits the use of ditches or other water transmission facilities exclusively by the district is not a public utility within the meaning of this chapter. No portion of the works, property, or water rights of any of those parties shall be deemed dedicated to a public use by reason of selling or delivering water to a water conservation district.

(b) Any person, firm, or corporation with water that is not being used to supply water to a public water system, or that is not otherwise dedicated to public use, that sells, leases, transfers, or otherwise delivers the water at wholesale to any public agency or to a water corporation providing water utility service, is not a public utility within the meaning of this chapter.

(c) This section does not apply to mutual water companies.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 420, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1996.)

2707.
  

For the purpose of determining the status of any person, firm, or corporation, their lessees, trustees, receivers or trustees appointed by any court, owning, controlling, operating, or managing any water system or water supply within this state, the commission may hold hearings and issue process and orders in the manner and to the same extent as provided in Part 1 (commencing with Section 201), and the findings and conclusions of the commission on questions of fact arising under this chapter are final and not subject to review, except as provided in Part 1 (commencing with Section 201).

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 142, Sec. 132.)

2708.
  

Whenever the commission, after a hearing had upon its own motion or upon complaint, finds that any water company which is a public utility operating within this State has reached the limit of its capacity to supply water and that no further consumers of water can be supplied from the system of such utility without injuriously withdrawing the supply wholly or in part from those who have theretofore been supplied by the corporation, the commission may order and require that no such corporation shall furnish water to any new or additional consumers until the order is vacated or modified by the commission. The commission, after hearing upon its own motion or upon complaint, may also require any such water company to allow additional consumers to be served when it appears that service to additional consumers will not injuriously withdraw the supply wholly or in part from those who theretofore had been supplied by such public utility.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

2709.
  

The commission may require any water corporation to file with the commission a statement in writing defining and describing the lands and territory to be supplied by the corporation with water.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

2710.
  

When it appears from (a) the statement required by Section 2709, (b) the articles of incorporation of any water corporation, or (c) any notice of appropriation of water required by law, that a water corporation has undertaken to supply more consumers or a greater number of acres than it can adequately supply, the commission may require the corporation to limit the number of consumers or acres of land which it has undertaken to supply or which is set out in its articles of incorporation or notices of appropriation to such a limited number of consumers or acres of land as the commission finds, after hearing, that the water corporation may adequately supply.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

2711.
  

Section 2710 does not apply to territory or consumers which have once been served by the corporation. As between consumers who have been voluntarily admitted to participate by the corporation in its supply of water or required to be supplied by an order of the commission, in times of water shortage the corporation shall give no priority or preference but shall apportion its supply ratably among its consumers.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

2712.
  

“Whether under contract or otherwise” as used in Section 2701 is not to be construed as authorizing a contract by a person or corporation defined in this chapter as a public utility which in anywise deprives the State or the commission or other competent authority of power to regulate the rates and service of any such public utility.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

2713.
  

(a) No water corporation subject to the jurisdiction and control of the commission and the provisions of Part 1 (commencing with Section 201) of this division shall make any charge upon any entity providing fire protection service to others for furnishing water for such fire protection purposes or for any costs of operation, installation, capital, maintenance, repair, alteration, or replacement of facilities related to furnishing water for such fire protection purposes within the service area of such water corporation, except pursuant to a written agreement with such entity providing fire protection services. A water corporation shall furnish water for fire protection purposes to the extent of its means and as a condition of a certificate of public convenience and necessity, in case of fire or other great necessity, within the boundaries of the territory served by it for use within such territory.

(b) The provisions of subdivision (a) shall not restrict or limit a water corporation furnishing water for fire protection purposes from levying charges for water service or facilities, including water for fire protection purposes, on any person, property, or entity, whether public or private, other than on an entity providing fire protection service.

Such charges shall be collected from such other persons, property, or entities pursuant to existing provisions of law which authorize such charges, or from an entity providing fire protection services only pursuant to a written agreement authorizing such charges.

(c) For the purposes of this section, “entity providing fire protection service” means a city, county, city and county, whether general law or chartered, and a fire company, fire protection district, or any other person, association, company, corporation, special district, municipal corporation, or any other public or private entity, which public or private entity or person provides fire protection services to any other public or private entity or person.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 862.)

2714.
  

No water corporation furnishing water for residential use to a tenant shall seek to recover any charges or penalties for the furnishing of water to or for the tenant’s residential use from any subsequent tenant on account of nonpayment of charges by a previous tenant. The water corporation may, however, require that service to subsequent tenants be furnished on the account of the landlord or property owner.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1251, Sec. 2.)

2715.
  

(a) A water corporation with more than 10,000 service connections shall maintain on its Internet Web site an archive of all pending, approved, or rejected advice letters for a period of two rate case cycles from the date the advice letter is submitted or for six years, whichever is shorter, and shall do all of the following:

(1) Provide a direct link from its Internet Web site to each advice letter, making the information contained there available to the public.

(2) Maintain advice letters in numerical order. The advice letters may be retained as a stand-alone site. The water corporation may combine the list with a list of current advice letters that have been transmitted for filing, or are filed, pending, protested, or otherwise active.

(3) Include a link to the commission’s index of advice letters on the water corporation’s Internet Web site.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “advice letter” means an advice letter pending, approved, or rejected on or after January 1, 2019, and includes its concurrently submitted cover sheets, attachments, service lists, and exhibits, to the extent they are not identified as confidential.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 409, Sec. 1. (SB 959) Effective January 1, 2019.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC