While secret water guzzlers in Beverly Hills aren’t paying fines, the city is now facing one.
The State Water Resources Control Board announced today that it was slapping the city of Beverly Hills with a $61,000 penalty for failing to meet its state-mandated water conservation goals. It’s one of four California water suppliers, along with the cities of Indio and Redlands and the Coachella Valley Water District, that the state is dinging for “consistently” failing to do so.
Earlier this month, Reveal exposed that one of the biggest known residential water guzzlers in the state lives in Beverly Hills. This house used 8 million gallons of water in a year, enough for about 60 families. There were 32 homes in the city that used a million gallons of water during a one-year period during the drought.
While some Los Angeles residents have faced fines of up to $300 for drought infractions like watering their lawn on the wrong day of the week, no one in 90210 has received such a penalty in the past year. There is no residential fine in Los Angeles for simply using an enormous amount of water.
The 90210 ZIP code is home to actor Tom Cruise, soccer legend David Beckham and corporate farmer Stewart Resnick, who owns more than 100,000 acres of orchards in the Central Valley.
While the four water suppliers, including Beverly Hills, have failed to cut back, Californians at large have rallied to the conservation cause: Residents reduced water usage by 26 percent in September compared to the same month in 2013. That just beat Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate to cities and towns to cut back by 25 percent.
Water wasters “should be ashamed,” Cris Carrigan, director of the Office of Enforcement of the State Water Resources Control Board told the Los Angeles Times.