Meeting Date:

September 13, 2017





David J. Stoldt,




General Manager

Line Item No.:



Prepared By:

Stephanie Locke

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Review:  Yes

CEQA Compliance:  This action does not constitute a project as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines section 15378.


SUMMARY:  MPWMD (District) requires separate Water Meters maintained by the Water Distribution System Operator for every User.  A “user” is defined as a residence (i.e., Dwelling Unit), commercial enterprise, or industrial enterprise.  Separate meters have been required for new Users since 1981.  Separate meters promote conservation by giving each user accountability for the their water use and it facilitates enforcement of water rationing.  Tiered rates are specifically designed to send price signals to the individual water user.


The District’s separate metering requirement has applied to new single family residences and any self-sustainable secondary dwelling units (i.e., secondary units with a bathroom and kitchen).  In response to recent increases in the number of Auxiliary Dwelling Units (ADUs) as a result of recently adopted legislation and disagreement between the Jurisdiction about how the District’s Rules apply, staff requested its legal counsel to review the matter and provide direction.  Attached as Exhibit 3-A is that memo.


The memo concludes that the District does not fall within the definition of “local agency” as contemplated by the Wieckowski legislation.  Even if a broader reading were applied, the restricted nature of the local water supply provides adequate justification to seek exclusion from the requirements.  


DISCUSSION:  The current moratorium on new connections within the California American Water system is problematic for ADUs that receive water from a Jurisdiction’s Paralta or Pre-Paralta Allocations.  Water Permits that utilize these Allocations do not qualify for sub-metering under the District’s rules and are subject to the moratorium.  ADUs that rely on Water Credits or the Public Credit Allocation likely qualify for sub-metering until the end of the Cal-Am moratorium.  The exception would be an ADU that is located on the property where it could be subdivided or the ADU could potentially be sold separate from the main Dwelling Unit.


Sub-metering allowed by the District requires that a Cal-Am Water Meter be installed within 90 days of the lifting of the moratorium on new Connections.  ADUs subject to the metering requirement will be required to comply.  Although it may be convenient to plumb the ADU into the existing residential plumbing and install a sub-meter at that location, in the long run it may make more sense to tee off the existing water line near the Water Meter at the street and install a sub-meter at that location. This will facilitate compliance with the future metering requirement.


RECOMMENDATION:  The Technical Advisory Committee should discuss the District’s metering rule as it pertains to Auxiliary Dwelling Units.  This requirement should be reported back to the Jurisdiction’s Planning and Building Departments to ensure that staff is aware of the requirement and that an applicant receives correct information.