Santa Barbara residents didn't conserve enough water last month to prevent a rate hike.
City council members voted to raise water rates by 3 percent across the board.
Bendy White said the tiered plan will make the people who use the most water pay even more. White hopes it will trigger conservation efforts that are needed during the ongoing drought in California.
The average bill is expected to rise by $20.
The bills are based on every 100 cubic feet, which is about 750 gallons.
There is no grace period, and the higher rates will be reflected in water bills in July.