California homeowners are under strict new orders to reduce water use due to the drought. Many are taking drastic measures like removing their grass, but the mandate seems to have gone unnoticed in some famously rich communities.
Living the California dream takes a lot of money. It also takes a lot of water. An UCLA study found wealthy neighborhoods use three times more water than other Southern California cities.
“We found that overall about 50 percent, if not more, of water, is used on outdoor irrigation,” said Dr. Stephanie Pincetl, who conducted the study. “Bigger house, bigger lawn, more water use — more water, and they can afford it.”
Right now, Beverly Hills does not ticket water wasters. Residents have only been asked to turn off decorative fountains and stop hosing down driveways “voluntarily,” measures that don’t get them close to the new state-wide mandate of a 25-percent reduction.
But Beverly Hills may soon look very different. The city is planning to cut private consumption through strict enforcement.