These Celebrities Went Over Their Monthly Water Budget During California’s 3rd Year of Drought
The water crisis in California seems to be deepening as the state has entered 3rd year of drought already. To help better the situation, a monthly water budget has been set, and many people seem to have exceeded their limit. Many of them are celebrities. Read on to know the entire story and which celebrities went over their monthly water budget.
The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District in southern California declared a drought emergency last year. Over 2,000 residents exceeded the water budget by 150% since that time. Many celebrities went over the budget. Some of them exceeded it by over 500%.
The list of celebs who went over their monthly water budget includes popular names like Sylvester Stallone, Comedian Kevin Hart, NBA player Dwayne Wade and even the ever-popular Kardashian sisters. All of them were among the biggest violators of the local water restrictions in Southern California.
The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District services San Fernando Valley’s affluent cities, including Calabasas, Agoura Hills Hidden Hills, Westlake Village, and several unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. It handed “notices of exceedance” to over 2,000 customers.
Residents of these cities have received such notices since December 1, 2021, when they use over 150% of the water budget more than four times. This information was shared by Mike McNutt, a spokesperson for the water district.
Some of the celebs had exceeded their budgets by over 500%. For instance, a 26-acre Calabasas property listed under Hart exceeded its budget by 519%. It translated to about 117,000 gallons and happened in June.
Two Hidden Hills properties associated with Kim Kardashian exceeded their budget by 230,000 gallons, and a 1.86-acre property near Calabasas that belongs to Kourtney Kardashian exceeded its budget by 101,000 gallons.
Another property in Hidden Hills listed under Wade and his wife, actor Gabrielle Union, recorded water usage of 489,000 gallons. In June, the same property used 90,000 gallons and exceeded the water budget by 1,400%. While addressing the issue, the couple said that this violation was caused due to a swimming pool issue, and they were working on addressing it.
The couple stated, “We have been doing everything we can to rectify the situation and will continue to go to extensive lengths to resolve the issue. We have replaced all parts of our pool system that (have) to do with water flow and leakage, in addition to converting to synthetic grass and drought-tolerant plants to reduce our water usage. We will continue to work with the city and the water distribution company to make sure this isn’t an issue moving forward.”
A 2.26-acre property in Hidden Hills associated with Stallone and his wife, Jennifer Flavin, went over its budget by 544%, or about 230,00 gallons. Stallone’s attorney Marty Singer addressed the issue and said that the numbers “mischaracterize and misrepresent the situation regarding the water usage at my client’s property.” He also highlighted the property’s “500 mature trees” could die if not properly watered.
Singer mentioned, “My client has been addressing the situation responsibly and proactively. They have let grasses die, and other areas are watered by a drip irrigation system. They also notified the city regarding the mature trees and are awaiting an inspection and further instruction from the city about how to proceed. I am confident that all of the larger properties in the area have similar issues. I, therefore, trust that my client will not be unfairly singled out in the story because he is a famous person.”
Budgets and Penalties
Water budgets in the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District are customized according to each household. Many factors like indoor and outdoor use and “specials adjustments,” such as “medical needs” or “caring for horses,” are considered while setting the budget. It is mentioned on the website of the district.
In addition to a surcharge on the water bill, penalties include being subject to installing a flow restriction device. The third penalty installs it.
McNutt said, “What this restrictor does is it completely irradiates the functionality of your irrigation system.” He added that 70% of water usage is from outdoor landscaping. He also mentioned that approximately 7.3% of the district’s customer base is on a list to receive the restrictor device, but that hasn’t happened due to a lack of resources. Currently, the district installs 20 devices a week and starts at the top with the “most egregious water users.”
California is experiencing its third year of drought. Most of the Golden State is experiencing at least “severe drought” conditions. It indicated that the fire season would be longer, trees are “stressed,” and wildlife diseases increase, says the state government website.
Not the First Time Celebs Went Overbudget
This isn’t the first-time celebrities have exceeded their water budgets during a drought. Several high-profile people like Jennifer Lopez and Barbra Streisand were confronted in 2015 during a water cutback. Even Kylie Jenner had to pay a $100 fine to the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District for excessive water usage in the same year.
McNutt has previously stated that the best way for property owners to reduce water usage is to take their lawns out completely. They should consider alternative methods of outdoor landscaping, such as laying down turf, mulch, or pulverized granite. He said, “Lawns are so thirsty, and they need so much water, it just doesn’t work anymore. So, we have to reimagine what is aesthetically pleasing to our outdoor living spaces. There’s really no option for us anymore.”
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