California agencies will develop a plan to help people on low-incomes pay their water bills. It’s one of 24 bills Governor Jerry Brown signed today related to water management and use.
The state Environmental Protection Agency considers it a "high burden" for households that pay more than 1.5 percent of their income for water.
Phoebe Seaton at the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability says that is a lot of Californians.
"It’s easily in the hundreds of thousands of customers. And if you include those who pay for treatment or for alternative water resources such as bottled water, you’re looking at the millions," says Seaton.
Brown called the bill "modest" and he blamed Proposition 218 for the problem. A court ruled in 2006 that the proposition prevents state agencies from raising water bills on some customers to subsidize others.
Another bill Brown signed prevents cities from stopping homeowners who want to install drought-resistant landscaping.