- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

CONCORD, Calif. (AP) - Contra Costa County residents will have to pay higher water rates in response to a state push to cut back on water use.

The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bayareane.ws/1eRktCN ) the Contra Costa Water District approved the emergency drought rates and fines Wednesday to help comply with the state’s order to cut overall water use by 28 percent.

Additional penalties are in store for those who water their lawns more than twice a week or flood gutters. Customers will get one warning, and then will receive a $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 for a third offense.

Households that cut water use by 25 percent will see lower monthly bills.

District customers reduced overall use by 15 percent in April, which was short of the 28 percent goal.

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Information from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com

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