Gov. Newsom recently signed a bill into law that gives California water agencies the authority to adopt enhanced penalties for water theft, giving them a stronger deterrent to help protect the public’s valuable resource.
The bill, SB 427, was authored by Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman D-Stockton) and sponsored by Elk Grove Water District. ACWA staff advocated in support of the bill. It allows fines for the first violation to be 10 times larger than what previously existed.
In addition to posing health risks, water theft makes it more difficult for water agencies to accurately account for the water being used by their ratepayers. The revenue lost from water theft can be passed on to paying customers, having a negative impact on water affordability.
“On behalf of the Elk Grove Water District, I would like to thank Senator Eggman and her staff for the hard work and persistent effort in getting SB 427 signed into law,” said Bruce Kamilos, General Manager of the Elk Grove Water District. “Because of her leadership, and her staff’s exemplary work, every water provider in California now can impose strict penalties on those that willingly and illegally connect to the public water system, putting the public’s health and safety at risk. “
“Additionally, I would like to thank the Association of California Water Agencies and the Regional Water Authority for their support on SB 427; specifically, Kris Anderson, ACWA, and Ryan Ojakian, RWA, for their guidance and coordination throughout the whole process,” Kamilos said. “SB 427 is a major achievement for the water industry.”