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Provides information in seven languages to tenants and homeowners on steps to take if they become behind on their water or utilities payments
OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a legal alert reminding urban and community water providers of requirements under the Water Shutoff Protection Act to protect California tenants and homeowners facing water shutoffs. Since the beginning of 2022, the cost of water has increased by an estimated 40%, making it difficult for many Californians to stay on top of their water payments. The loss of water service increases health risks and may lead to eviction. In today's legal alert, Attorney General Bonta warns water providers to immediately cease all water shutoffs that do not comply with the Water Protection Shutoff Act. Attorney General Bonta also issued a consumer alert in English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean advising Californians on steps they can take if they are behind on their electricity bill, water bill, or other utility bills.
“Right now, many California families are struggling to put food on the table, pay their rent or mortgage, and keep up with their water and utility bills,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “If you get behind on your utility or water bill, you have options. California law requires most utility and water providers to work with you to keep your lights on and tap flowing. I urge Californians to familiarize themselves with their rights, and to get help if they are facing a utility or water shutoff. My office is committed to advancing Californians’ fundamental right to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water, and we're issuing legal guidance today to ensure water providers understand their responsibilities to Californians under the Water Shutoff Protection Act.”
“Access to water is a fundamental right of all Californians,” said State Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa. “That is why I wrote the Water Shutoff Protection Act, which creates a sustainable and equitable framework to protect low-income people including seniors, children and those with illness or disability. I thank Attorney General Bonta for his leadership in ensuring the tap remains on for our most vulnerable populations, especially as people are struggling with the cost of inflation.”
Requirements Under the Water Shutoff Protection Act
The Water Shutoff Protection Act includes several new requirements for termination of water service. Specifically, most water providers:
What to Do if You Are Behind on Water Payments
What to Do if You Are Behind on Other Utility Payments
If you believe your water or utility provider is violating the law, repot it at oag.ca.gov/report. If you have a complaint about a water shutoff or an investor-owned utility, you can also contact your State Water Board or the California Public Utilities Commission, respectively.