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Lifestyles of the Rich and Water-Wasting: L.A. Home Used 11.8 Million Gallons in a Year
news.yahoo.com Lakes have dried up, the ground is sinking in the central part of the state because of lack of groundwater, farmers are expected to lose nearly $2 billion in 2015, and residents of Los Angeles are being ticketed for watering their lawns on non-designated days. But California’s catastrophic four-year drought didn’t stop a residence in Bel Air, the hyper-wealthy enclave on the West Side of L.A., from using 11.8 million gallons of water in just one year. That’s the startling finding of an investigation by Reveal, a website run by the Center for Investigative Reporting. It found that for the calendar year ending in April, a household in the ritzy neighborhood—Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have all called Bel Air home—used that much H2O, racking up an estimated $90,000 bill along the way. Having a hard time wrapping your head around how much water 11.8 million gallons is? Well, it’s the equivalent of the average usage of 90 households, according to Reveal. It turns out that four of the five biggest water hogs in California all live in Bel Air—the other household in the top five is in well-heeled Beverly Hills. Overall, Los Angeles is home to “92 of the top 100 residential water users known in California,” says Reveal. And those households, which each used more than a million gallons of water, are all in wealthy neighborhoods of the city. Elected officials and environmental activists across California have asked people to conserve water by replacing their lush green lawns with drought-tolerant plants, taking shorter showers, and turning off the tap while brushing their teeth. If folks refuse to comply voluntarily, there’s always public shaming. The website for the City of Los Angeles has a section where people can tattle about water wasting in their neighborhood. Folks have also taken to posting the addresses of people watering their lawns or hosing down sidewalks on social media, and a slew of drought-shaming apps make it a snap to photograph the homes of offenders.
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