California is in the midst of one of its most serious droughts in history, yet certain celebrities (who most certainly make more money than the average person) seem to have missed the memo.
According to the United States Drought Monitor, almost the entire state is under the “Extreme” drought status, while Beverly Hills, where many celebrities live, is located in the part of California facing “Exceptional” drought. The city is trying to reduce water usage by 32 per cent.
The Wrap is reporting that several celebrities, including actress Amy Poehler and music mogul David Geffen, are disregarding water conservation measures, and are being forced to pay fines for using too much water.
Poehler and Geffen are among 86 Beverly Hills residents who received letters from the city in November, warning them that they’re using far more water than the average Californian.
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The LA Times outlined some of the charges faced by water overusers: Between June and August 2015, Geffen was charged more than $30,000 by the city for using 1.6 million gallons of water. Poehler was charged more than $2,200 for 170,000 gallons for the period between May 14 and July 14. (All amounts are in USD, and for perspective, the average family of four in the U.S. uses 400 gallons of water a day.)
Others who received warning letters include Will & Grace co-creator Jason “Max” Mutchnick and executive producer of The Revenant, Brett Ratner.
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Geffen sent an email to the Times saying he’s looking into digging a well on his property, so he can “access the underground river that flows beneath my home instead of water from the city… that water is not potable and simply flows into the ocean and is wasted.”
He did not mention anything about the exorbitant 1.6 million gallons or the hefty fine.
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In a statement, Ratner said he was not aware of his household’s excessive water use. After looking into the problem, he claims he discovered multiple pipe leaks and promised to repair them. A spokeswoman for the producer says that Ratner is now replacing his entire water line.
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Poehler’s representatives did not comment on her household’s water overconsumption.
“I don’t mean to get the world’s smallest violin out, but you’ve got a constituency that has the means to do aggressive water conservation,” Bruce Reznik, executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper, told the Times. “It’s the lowest hanging fruit to turn off the sprinklers for a couple days. It’s not brain surgery.”
The water-overuse shaming and fining tactic seems to be working, with Beverly Hills cutting its water consumption by nearly 26 per cent in January, falling just short of the 32 per cent goal.
Domestic Water Use in California | Graphiq