Now it stands to reason that the wealthiest among us would use more water – they have bigger properties, swimming pools and lots of cars to wash.
But a new report by the Web site Reveal, part of the Center for Investigative Reporting, shows that some of the most affluent residents of the state are guzzling water at an astonishing rate.
The single biggest residential water user in the state lives right here in Los Angeles. Reveal says a property in Bel Air used a mind-boggling 11.8 million gallons of water in the 12-month period that ended in April.
That’s enough to supply 90 typical households, and it translates into an annual water bill of about $90,000.
Who that person – or people – is remains a mystery, the Department of Water and Power isn’t saying.
In Bel Air, 19 customers used more than 2.8 million gallons of water in a year. In the 90210 ZIP code in Beverly Hills, 32 customers used that much.
The Los Angeles DWP and most other water agencies in the state haven’t restricted mega-users from pumping as much water as they are willing to pay for. But they have begun to fine residents for things like watering on the wrong day or failing to fix broken sprinkler heads. And while the names of people cited for violations are being released to the public, the identity of the biggest water users remains a secret.
Overall, California cities cut water consumption by 27 percent in August compared to 2013 use. The State Water Resources Control Board says it was the third straight month that cities met the 25 percent reduction set by Gov. Jerry Brown to deal with the drought. But it was also a bit of dip from conservation levels in June and July.
Many cities across Southern California exceeded their individual water saving targets in August, including L.A., Santa Barbara, Camarillo and San Diego. But some communities didn’t meet their goals. Folks in Beverly Hills cut their water use by 17 percent, but that’s still more than 10 points shy of the goal set by the state. And cities like Arcadia, Pasadena, and San Juan Capistrano missed their targets as well.