Marin County is hoping some pain in the pocketbook will help motivate big water users to cut back.
Currently, Marin County residents are being urged to conserve water wherever they can.
Tiare Frontera is using gray water on the plants outside.
“We put it in buckets, and we use it to water the plants. I mean why waste it?” she said.
The Marin Municipal Water District has watering restrictions in place.
“We are requesting various residents only irrigate once a week and we do have patrols of employees looking for water wasting,” said Marin Water Board Of Directors vice president Larry Russell.
Russell said while some residents are conserving, many others aren't.
They are hoping to get their attention as the board adopted a penalty ordinance.
Starting in December, customers who exceed tier 1 water use will be charged more for the additional water.
“It's $5 per 748 gallons which is basically doubling the normal price," Russell added.
Frontera said she will continue to conserve to avoid a higher bill.
“Who wants their bill to go from $200 to $350 a month for water?” she said.
With the drought and conservation on their mind people in Marin County, NBC Bay Area’s Jean Elle talked to say a bigger bill may be what it takes to convince people to use less.
Marin water officials said with reservoir levels dropping and uncertainty about when rains will fill them up, saving water now is crucial.