Some Santa Barbara water users are expected to pay big bills after July 1, if they don't cut back. The rate increase is expected to be approved in June and the goal is to encourage residents to save what's left of the city's supply during the serious drought.
The city says the water fees will not be a heavy burden on the lower water users, but the rate structure will add a large increase to the monthly bill for customers who use the most water.
Leslie Levy has drought tolerant plants around her home in Santa Barbara. She planted them a year ago and is not worried about the new rates or her water bill. She says the plants have taken hold, and use little or no water.
In her back yard there's a small patch of grass and some fruit trees, along with lavender and succulents. She says it has a "soft" feel and still looks attractive.
Levy says at first the plants looked odd to her, but they seem to "take care of themselves."
Some ideas for plants came after a driving tour of Santa Barbara to look at other properties. "There are some wonderful plants"(in Santa Barbara and Montecito), said Levy.
She says a landscape designer helped to pick the plants, and make the layout.
The city and many water districts locally offer a free inspection of your property to see where you can make water savings from your faucets to your landscaping.
For more information go to: http://www.sbwater.org/