California Drought

As California suffers through a historic drought, many in the state are being asked to reduce their personal water use for watering grasses and gardens. The state has mandated tight restrictions. While most people are trying to comply, celebrities (of course) are not playing by the rules. 

LA Celebrities Wasting Water

After a report from the Los Angeles Times naming and shaming water abusers, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District is threatening to put physical water restrictions on the homes of celebrities. 

Sly Stallone said that his increased water usage was due to fruit trees on his property that require a lot of water. Former NBA star Dwayne Wade blamed his family’s excess on a broken swimming pool. 

These celebrities are paying for the water and are subject to fines for exceeding the amount the government of California says they can use. But I have to ask, is shaming really the best option? 

I don’t see how it is even legal for the government to name and shame people like this. It seems like an invasion of privacy and a way for local water districts to pass off blame on others. 

The physical restriction measures are called flow restrictors. According to Kobold USA, these devices “create a barrier to the flow, decreasing the available area for the flow to move through.”

Kobold says flow restrictors are “placed into the line of flow and essentially reduce the space that the water can flow through. This in turn decreases the flow output.”

One wonders why they weren’t installed in the first place and why they needed to go to the media to get this done. 

Earlier this summer, Las Virgenes, California Municipal Water District spokesman Mike McNutt told FoxNews that the threat of the device is supposed to “get attention.”

“This is a way for us to get attention from not just those homeowners,” McNutt said, “but to really highlight that we’re serious about this because the drought is incredibly serious,” McNutt said.

The Truth About California’s Drought

It is no secret that California is experiencing a horrible drought. But blaming the water shortages on people who water their lawns too often is missing the point entirely. 

Some remote places in California don’t have any way to get water other than to ship it in tankers.

The drought is especially painful for California’s large agricultural industry, which uses the vast majority of the water in the state.

Some people think the push for everyday people to limit their consumption is misguided, considering that the vast majority of water is used by agriculture.

 A possible solution is to limit the cultivation of “thirsty” crops such as almonds, alfalfa, and beef. 

Source: Statista

It’s A Hard Problem To Solve

Stallone’s attorney gave a statement to the LA Times saying that the numbers shared might “mischaracterize and misrepresent the situation regarding the water usage at my client’s property.”

“They have more than 500 mature trees on the property, including innumerable fruit trees as well as pine trees,” the statement reads. “Absent adequate watering, in all likelihood they would die. That could result in dead or damaged trees falling on my client’s property or neighboring properties.”

McNutt understands that it will take some time to make changes.

“We’re asking them to not just minimize their water usage,” McNutt said, “but we’re also asking them, in a way, to just completely rethink what is aesthetically pleasing to them and how that’ll impact their property values. And that is not something that happens overnight.”

I don’t know what the solution is to all of this, but I don’t think shaming people for watering their lawns is going to save us. 

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