Water Supply De-energization Bill Heads to Governor

Senator Melissa Melendez (R -Lake Elsinore), announced today that SB 708 (Melendez) was approved by the State Assembly with a bipartisan vote of 77-0 and now heads to the Governor for his signature or veto.

“This measure provides a critical tool for water districts by allowing them to declare a water shortage emergency due to a de-energization event or power shut-off,” said Melendez. “The effect on water supplies during a loss of electricity can limit the treatment of drinking water and the ability to refill storage tanks and reservoirs.  During power safety shutoff events, water districts need to ensure they have the water supply necessary to meet the needs of their customers for the duration of the outage.”

Senate Bill (SB) 708, would allow a public water supplier to declare a water shortage emergency due to a de-energization event or public safety power shutoff.  Current law requires water suppliers to notice a hearing 7 days before an emergency declaration.  This timeframe, in some circumstances, doesn’t allow power lift stations to accommodate changes in services or can limit the treatment of drinking water.

SB 708 was supported by the Association of California Water Agencies, which includes as its members the Coachella Water Authority, Coachella Valley Water District, Desert Water Agency, Eastern Municipal Water District, Elsinore Valley Water District, Idyllwild Water District, Indio Water Authority, Rancho California Water District, and Western Municipal Water District.

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