You may want to pay closer attention to how much water you're using or you could be hit with quite a bill. A number of homeowners in one Bakersfield neighborhood saw their bills double and even triple in just one month even though their water usage has stayed the same.
Like a lot of homeowners in this Bakersfield neighborhood, Greg Edmondson takes pride in how his lawn looks but when he saw his water bill last month, it baffled him.
"I've lived here for eight years and the bill was always 54 dollars. It jumped up to 121 and I haven't increased my water usage or anything like that," said Edmondson.
Edmondson wasn't the only one hit with a higher bill. The bills from his neighbors show how much some of them had to pay.
"Everybody's bill in this neighborhood has almost doubled and hers over there almost tripled. And its just ridiculous," said Edmondson.
The reason for the giant hike comes from a small source. New water meters were recently installed in Edmondson's neighborhood measuring how much water each house uses and charges them accordingly. A change Cal Water officials say was made to conform to new state laws.
"The state said you're going to have to learn how to manage your water at each property because water is a precious resource," said Cal Water District Manager Tim Trealor.
Trealor says the new meters shocked some customers when they saw their latest bill but the department is trying to work with those customers to help shave down future costs.
"Generally we'll have somebody actually meet the customer at the property and work with them and try to help them and assist them in looking for water saving opportunities," said Trealor.
That's a small comfort for Edmondson who says with water costing so much, all he can do is watch his lawn wither away.
"My back yard is brown right now, used to be nice and green but I've had to cut the water off," said Edmondson.
Cal Water officials say they still have about 30 thousand customers left that need to be shifted to the new meters but they're already encouraging everyone to conserve water and have compiled a number of tips on their website.
For water conservation tips, visit http://calwater.com/conservation/index.php