Paying more for less water: California water agencies lose money in drought, increase rates

Saving water doesn't always mean saving money in drought-stricken California.

Water departments across California are increasing rates and adding fees because they're losing money as their customers conserve. They say they still have to pay for fixed costs including repairing pipelines and customer service.

Agencies are expected to lose $1 billion in revenue under Gov. Jerry Brown's mandatory conservation order for communities to save water during the drought.

Dwindling water supplies also mean turning to more expensive sources of water. Santa Barbara increased water rates this month in order to reactivate a desalination plant and recover lost revenue.

Other agencies have cut expenses or tapped reserves instead of charging more for water.

California's best water savers can still end up with a lower overall water bill even with increased rates.