Southern California’s Las Virgenes Municipal Water District declared a drought emergency the previous year. The district’s water budget has since been exceeded by more than 2,000 residents by 150%, according to The LA Times. However, some local celebrities have spent more than 500% more than their allocated budget. Receive weekly updates about sustainability-related culture and business in your email. As Southern California faces its third year of a drought, according to The Los Angeles Times some of the greatest offenders of their local water limits include comedian Kevin Hart, two of the Kardashian sisters, actor Sylvester Stallone, and NBA player Dwayne Wade.
According to records obtained from the water provider, The LA Times reported that the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which provides water to affluent cities in the San Fernando Valley like Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, and Westlake Village, issued “notices of exceedance” to more than 2,000 customers.
Residents have been receiving this notice since December 1, 2021, when they exceed 150% of their water allocation more than four times, according to Mike McNutt, a spokesman for the water agency.
However, some of the famous people who have been accused of breaking water limitations have gone over budget by more than 500%.
In June, a 26-acre Calabasas property listed under Hart had a budget overrun of 519%, or 117,000 gallons.
A 1.86-acre property outside Calabasas owned by Kourtney Kardashian went over budget by roughly 101,000 gallons, while two Hidden Hills residences connected to Kim Kardashian went over budget by about 230,000 gallons.
An inquiry from Insider for comment was not immediately answered by a Kardashians spokeswoman.
Wade and his wife, the actor Gabrielle Union, have a home in Hidden Hills, and in May, that home used 489,000 gallons more water than any other client. The property utilized 90,000 gallons more than its allotted amount of water in June (1,400%).
The pair said in a statement to The LA Times that a problem with their pool was to blame for the usage, and that they are working hard to fix it.
The pair told The LA Times, “We have been doing everything we can to correct the situation and will continue to go to great efforts to remedy the issue. “In order to use less water, we have changed all pool system components that are related to water flow and leaks, switched to artificial grass, and planted plants that can withstand drought. To ensure that this doesn’t become a problem in the future, we will keep cooperating with the city and the water delivery business.”
Stallone and his wife, Jennifer Flavin, overspent their budget by 544%, or 230,00 gallons, on a 2.26-acre Hidden Hills property. According to The LA Times, this is an increase of around 195,000 gallons from May.
The data “mischaracterize and mislead the circumstances involving the water usage at my client’s residence,” Stallone’s attorney Marty Singer told The LA Times. The “500 mature trees” on the property, according to Singer, risk dying if not adequately hydrated.
“My client has taken a responsible and proactive approach to the matter. They have allowed the grass to wither while using a drip irrigation system to hydrate other areas. Additionally, they informed the city about the mature trees, and they are presently awaiting an inspection and further guidance from the city for how to proceed “The lawyer emailed The LA Times. “I’m sure the bigger residences in the region have similar problems. I therefore have faith that my client won’t be unfairly picked out in the narrative simply because he is well-known.”
An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by Stallone’s lawyer.
Each family in the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District has a customized water budget. Indoor and outdoor use, as well as “specific adjustments” like “medical demands” or “caring for horses,” are taken into account.
In addition to a premium on the water bill, there is a third penalty that requires properties to install a flow restriction device.
Adding that outdoor landscaping accounts for 70% of water use, McNutt added, “What this restrictor does is it fully irradiates the functionality of your irrigation system.”
Around 7.3% of the district’s customers, according to McNutt, are on a list to receive the restrictor device. However, due to a lack of funding, the district only installs 20 devices every week, beginning with the “most flagrant water consumers.”
DROUGHT IS IN ITS THIRD YEAR IN THE GOLDEN STATE. Most of California is currently under “extreme drought” conditions, which lengthens the fire season, stresses trees, and increases the risk of wildlife diseases, according to the state government website .
Additionally, this is not the first time that celebrities have been exposed for misusing water during droughts.
Several prominent people, including Jennifer Lopez and Barbra Streisand, had their watering practices criticized in 2015 due to a water shortage.
Kylie Jenner was also penalized $100 by the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District for using too much water in 2015 .
The easiest option for property owners to cut water usage, according to McNutt, is to entirely remove their lawns and adopt alternate ways of outdoor landscaping, such laying down turf, mulch, or pulverized granite.
He claimed that because lawns require so much water and are so thirsty, the method no longer works. “Therefore, we need to rethink what looks well in our outside living spaces. We truly don’t have any other choices left.”