Current through the 2022 Legislative Session.
Section 53069.45 - Water theft; enhanced penalties(a)(1)Notwithstanding any other law, the legislative body of a "local agency," as defined in Section 54951, that provides water services, may adopt an ordinance that prohibits water theft and makes a violation of an ordinance enacted by the local agency regarding water theft subject to an administrative fine or penalty, as provided in this section.(2)The local agency shall adopt an ordinance that sets forth the administrative procedure that shall govern the imposition, enforcement, collection, and administrative review by the local agency of the administrative fines or penalties for water theft.(3)The local agency shall establish a process for granting a hardship waiver to reduce the amount of the fine imposed for water theft upon a showing by the responsible party that payment of the full amount of the fine would impose an undue financial burden on the responsible party.(b)If the water theft is committed via meter tampering in violation of an ordinance adopted under this section, it is punishable as follows: (1)A fine not exceeding one hundred thirty dollars ($130) for a first violation.(2)A fine not exceeding seven hundred dollars ($700) for a second violation of the same ordinance within one year of the first violation.(3)A fine not exceeding one thousand three hundred dollars ($1,300) for the third violation and each additional violation of the same ordinance within one year of the first violation.(c)All other forms of water theft in violation of an ordinance adopted under this section are punishable as follows:(1)A fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) for a first violation.(2)A fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000) for a second violation of the same ordinance within one year.(3)A fine not exceeding three thousand dollars ($3,000) for each additional violation of the same ordinance within one year.(d)For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply: (1)"Irrigation district" has the same meaning as "district," as that term is defined in Section 20513 of the Water Code.(2)"Water theft" means an action to divert, tamper, or reconnect water utility services, as defined in Section 498 of the Penal Code.(e)An irrigation district may impose fines or penalties for water theft in accordance with this section or Division 11 (commencing with Section 20500) of the Water Code. This section shall not cap or limit the fines that an irrigation district may impose in accordance with Division 11 (commencing with Section 20500) of the Water Code.Amended by Stats 2022 ch 23 (AB 2505),s 1, eff. 1/1/2023.Added by Stats 2021 ch 137 (SB 427),s 1, eff. 1/1/2022.