BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will restrict water shutoffs to homes and small businesses while the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order protects consumers who may not be able to pay for their water service from shutoffs.
Already, over 100 public and private water systems across California have voluntarily suspended water shutoffs for non-payment as a result of COVID-19, according to the governor's office. Under the order, the State Water Resources Control Board will issue best practices and guidelines on support for the state’s water systems during this time.
“This executive order will help people who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring they have water service,” said Governor Newsom. “Water is critical to our very lives, and in this time, it is critically important that it is available for everyone.”
Additionally, the executive order will restore water for occupied residences that may have had their water shut off as of March 4, 2020, which is when the Governor proclaimed a state of emergency due to COVID-19.
In response to the governor's decision, the California Water Service Group released the following statement:
Cal Water supports Governor Newsom’s decision, as we agree that water is essential, especially as we navigate through this unprecedented, challenging time. That’s why on March 12, 2020, we announced that we had begun voluntarily suspending water service disconnections and restoring service to those who were previously disconnected. We will continue to support the communities we serve to help ensure everyone has the safe, reliable water service they need during this critical time.