In January 2016, the California Association of Mutual Water Companies Joint Powers Risk and Insurance Management Authority (CalMutuals JPRIMA) became the nation’s first joint powers insurance authority to provide insurance and technical assistance to help small community water systems statewide fix their aging pipes and comply with water quality regulations.
CalMutuals JPRIMA was formed after Assembly Bill 656 (Garcia) became law. Authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), AB 656 specifically authorizes a mutual water company and a public agency to participate in a joint powers agreement for purposes of insurance and risk-pooling, technical support, and other similar services.
AB 656 was initiated by mutual water companies who also won the support of the (Central) Valley Ag Coalition, and the California State Firefighters’ Association. Nine mutual water companies from throughout Southern and Central California partnered with North of the River Municipal Water District, a public agency in Kern County, to form the Authority. The founders include Bellflower Somerset Mutual Water Company (Bellflower), California Domestic Water Company (Whittier), Covina Irrigating Company (Covina), Montebello Land & Water Company (Montebello), Oildale Mutual Water Company (Kern County), Rubio Cañon Land & Water Association (Altadena), South Mesa Mutual Water Company (Calimesa/Yucaipa), Sunny Slope Mutual Water Company (Pasadena), and Valencia Heights Mutual Water Company (West Covina).
The Authority provides customized insurance solutions to small water systems throughout California whose operations comprise the development, transportation, management, storage, treatment or distribution of water. These water systems provide water to more than 1.3 million Californians.
Other water management agencies, such as public water districts, sewer districts, conservation districts, and community services districts, are also eligible and now well-positioned to secure insurance coverage through CalMutuals JPRIMA.