California Celebrities Exceeding Water Use Limits Amid Drought
Famous celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Hart and Dwyane Wade, are greatly exceeding water use limits in Southern California amid an ongoing drought.
Over 2,000 customers were recently issued “notices of exceedance” by the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, meaning these customers used over 150% of their monthly limit for water usage at least four times since the end of 2021, the Los Angeles Times Reported. Customers who were issued these notices could now face having water flow-restricting devices installed on their properties, which can reduce strong water flows to just a trickle.
In June 2022, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District implemented “Stage 3” water restrictions, limiting customers to outdoor watering once per week. But some customers exceeded the monthly water budget in June by over 1400%.
In May, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s property exceeded the water limits more than any other customer by over 489,000 gallons of water, according to the Los Angeles Times, but attributed it to pool issues. The property exceeded limits in June by 90,000 gallons of water.
Sylvester Stallone’s property exceeded its monthly water budget by 533%, an increase compared to May before the “Stage 3” water restrictions were implemented. Stallone’s attorney told the Los Angeles Times that the property’s mature trees were at risk of dying and falling onto the home of neighboring properties without enough water.
“For the celebrities or musicians or athletes who all live in the area, monetary penalties are going to be meaningless to them because it doesn’t matter,” Mike McNutt, a spokesman for the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, told NPR. “They have plenty of money and if they want to, they could spend $5,000 a month on a water bill.”
As a result, they could now face the installation of a water flow-restricting device that reduces watering by up to 70%. The water conservation measures are crucial, as the area relies entirely on water imported from about 400 miles away in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
McNutt did note that there has been some improvements in customers’ water usage compared to previous droughts. In June 2021, residents of Las Virgenes used about 261 gallons of water per person per day, which decreased to 170 gallons per person per day by June 2022.
But still, many celebrities, Hollywood executives, lawyers and doctors living in this area of Los Angeles County are using far more water than the average person. McNutt hopes those with influence set a better example of conserving water in California.
“People listen to you, people look at you, people value what you do… We need you to step up to the plate, to be examples and to be leaders so that other people will follow,” he said. “That is the most critical thing that anybody in that bracket, or that has those resources, can do to influence and help with other people’s behavior modifications.”