To kill your grass, or not to kill your grass, that is the expensive question.

Most of you should have received your water bills last week. While likely already expensive, you may not have seen nothing yet. Starting June 1, the mandatory limits on water use and the penalties that go with that kick into effect.

Because the Dublin San Ramon Services District has certain fixed costs regardless of whether or not we're in a drought or not, they need to pump up the rates. That means you may be paying the same or more for less water. And, to add to the joy of paying a lot of money for all those minerals in the water here, the District gets to increase prices by approximately 3 percent starting July 1 because of the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

That said, you could end up paying a lot more if you don't cut your water use.

The district has the right to impose fines up to $1,000 if you don't meet your water cutback quota.

So, while you may want to add a brick in the toilet tank, use buckets to capture the cold bath/shower water from the faucet before it turns hot, and other water-saving ideas, if you want to hit your quota, cutting back on watering the lawn is definitely in your future.

Your grass and traditional foliage drinks a lot of water, so the easiest way to cut back on water use is to cut back on the sprinklers. The DSRSD would like us to water no more than twice a week between June and August and all before 6 am.

That may be enough to keep your lawns on life support if we have another really hot summer.

Conversely, if you ever wanted to create more of a desert landscaping motif, this could be your time!

City Pool Stays Open: If you're looking to grab some pool time to beat the heat, have no fear, the Dublin Swim Center will operate as normal throughout the summer. Log onto www.dublin.ca.gov for more info.

The city also has water reduction targets, but plans to bank on the work they've done over the past few years to use recycled water for park landscaping as a way hit those targets. Currently, recycled water use is 66 percent of total city municipal use.

You've likely noticed that the fountains have all been drained and will stay that way until Mother Nature kicks in again and brings some rain and especially snowpack to the Sierra.

Recycled water is not an option, of course, for the water play areas at Emerald Glen Park and at Shannon Park. Ironically, the city had just installed a new water play area at Shannon and had been testing it prior to the drought declaration. Those play areas will be open this summer, but on a limited basis and with some conditions.

If the temperature is forecast to be above 90 degrees, then the water play areas will operate, but only between 1 and 6 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

The water play area at Devany Square will be shut off throughout the drought.

2014 Youth Police Academy: Students ages 14-18 who are interested in law enforcement can apply to be part of the 2014 Dublin Police Services Youth Academy.

The academy is a weeklong session held from Monday, July 28 through Friday, Aug. 1, with each session held between 9 a.m. and noon. Classes are limited to between 20 and 25 students, with city of Dublin residents getting first priority.

Applications are available online through the aforementioned City of Dublin website.

Contact Alan Elias at elias2000@sbcglobal.net.