Since 2013, CalMutuals has aggressively pursued legislation that helps mutual water companies while opposing any bills that would harm our members. We achieved a major milestone in 2015-2016 with legislation that authorized creation of a Joint Powers Insurance Authority with risk-pooling and less expensive insurance for our members.
Below is a list with some of our major successes:
- Lobbied for successful passage of AB 656 (C. Garcia), allowing the formation of the California Association of Mutual Water Companies Joint Powers Insurance Authority beginning January 2016
- Successfully lobbied for changes to AB 1077 (Holden) in 2015 which would have required mutual water companies to telecast or webcast all meetings
- Supported provisions in legislation (SB13) that allows mutual water companies to participate in governance of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and Joint Powers Agreements
- Enhanced protections against service duplication once threatened by AB 2443 (Nestande) authored in 2014
- Successfully lobbied to ensure mutual water companies are eligible applicants for water bond funding under Proposition 1
- Helped to raise awareness of small system needs which included $700 billion for drought emergency funds
- Assisted members with recovering over $1 million dollars in property tax rebates.
- Increased membership by more than double in less than a year
Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs): CalMutuals helped mutual water companies around the state navigate concerns they faced in the formation of their Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs). In Riverside County, the Association’s support resulted in mutual water companies serving as leaders on the governing board of their GSA. We continue to be engaged with other members across California to ensure mutual water companies are fairly represented on their GSAs. CalMutuals has formed a GSA taskforce to communicate regional issues and to ensure that mutual water companies are included in the GSA-formation process.
Invalidation of Hexavalent Chromium (hexchrom) 10 parts per billion (ppb) maximum contaminant level (MCL): In the Spring of 2017, the final ruling was issued in the chrom-6 case, California Manufacturers and Technology Association, et. al. v. California Department of Public Health, et.al., in favor of small water systems by invalidating the 10 parts per billion (ppb) maximum contaminant level (MCL) for the chemical. In the ruling, the court said the Department of Public Health (DPH) failed to consider economic feasibility when, in early May 2014, it set the nation’s first drinking water standard in California for chromium-6 at a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 parts per billion (ppb). CalMutuals’ staff and members gathered the data from small water systems statewide to inform the ruling; the first of its kind in California’s history.