Looks like someone's not doing their part to save water.
According to a recent piece in the Los Angeles Times, there's a Bel Air resident who's using a whopping 11.8 million gallons of water per year, which breaks down to about 32,000 gallons a day-- enough to sustain 90 households. Bel Air, an opulently wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood, is known for its sprawling lawns and magnificent estates. And with those incredible lawns and gardens comes the need for meticulous maintenance...and excessive water usage. But 32,000 gallons a day? That's just despicable. As the L.A. Times reporter who wrote this article aptly puts, "What I didn't see [in Bel Air] was anything brown."
The Department of Water and Power has sent this and many other area residents letters of warning urging them to cut back, to no avail. According to the L.A. Times piece, Bel Air is home to 4 of the top 5 water offenders in the entire state. We are no question moving towards a financial penalty phase when it comes to water hogs, but when you consider how wealthy many of these offenders are (many of whom are already paying upwards of $100,000 a year for water alone), the financial penalty associated with water-wasting may only be perceived as a "drop in the bucket," so to speak.
The bottom line is, in this time of severe drought in California, we simply cannot continue live the way we have been in the past. Southern California is a DESERT, folks. Like many parts of Arizona and Nevada, we as Southern Californians have to just become accustomed to having drought-resistant lawns and gardens. That means being able to appreciate the beauty of a different kind of landscape, one free from sprawling, verdant grass lawns and lush gardens. We have to learn to love the beauty of Mexican pebbles and decomposed granite and succulents-- all of which can be incredibly gorgeous and elegant. At this time of environmental crisis, it's simply selfish to have a super-green lawn (sorry, it has to be said).
As always, reduce, reuse, recycle...and conserve! Small, everyday changes can make a big difference.