Residential water rates are higher from May 16 through September 15 each year. Peak rates incorporate a three-tiered rate structure: the more water you use, the more you pay. With higher rates in effect, we want to conserve water and use strategies to reduce the need to water outdoor plants. You may invest in water barrels, plant drought-tolerant shrubbery or create a Rain Garden. Channeling rain water into your garden will conserve water, reduce your rates, and protect the environment, too, by allowing runoff to filter through the soil. Take a Savvy Gardener class, sponsored by the Saving Water Partnership, to learn more garden rainwater strategies.