Some California American Water (Cal Am) customers could see their water bills quadruple shortly. The rates were approved in July by the Public Utilities Commission, and will force the biggest water users to change their habits or pay more than ever.
Additionally, the majority of Cal Am customers will see an increase of 20%, resulting in an average monthly increase of $2.81. For about one in 10 customers, bills should stay the same or go down, while the majority of customers–62%–will see their bills increase by at least 20%.
Certain areas will be placed on a water allotment. Another change is that customers will be billed according to every 10 cubic feet of water used. Under the old rate system, customers were billed according to every 100 cubic feet of water.
The intent of the new rates is to discourage water waste and to foster conservative landscape irrigation practices, water officials said.