Celebrities among worst water wasters, officials say


(KTLA) — Some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities are accused of using too much water while the rest of southern California tries to conserve amid a drought emergency. But water resource officials say it’s not just the stars who are using more than their fair share — thousands are being warned about using too much water.

They’re some of the biggest names in Hollywood: Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Hart and Kim and Kourtney Kardashian. They’re also apparently some of the biggest water wasters in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Calabasas.

Las Virgenes Municipal Water District officials say the stars, some of whom aren’t even home, are among some 1,600 customers who have surpassed 150% of their monthly water budgets at least four times since the agency declared a drought emergency last December.

Now, water officials say they may install a device that will restrict their water usage to their properties.

“They are in line to get a flow restriction device put on their water meters in order to limit how much water they’re continuing to use,” said Michael McNutt of the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

McNutt says the device will cause indoor faucets to trickle out and outdoor sprinklers will go from flowing freely to sputtering to a stop.

He explained the only surefire way to avoid getting a flow restriction device is for someone to contact the water district and sign a commitment that they’ll work with the district to come into compliance. If they don’t, they will get a flow restriction device installed for two weeks straight.

“If, once it’s removed, they continue to exceed their water budgets by 150%, it’s put back on for a minimum of a month,” McNutt said.

Violators will also get hit with expensive fines for each violation.

Representatives for Stallone and retired NBA star Dwyane Wade say they are taking measures to reduce their water usage. Las Virgenes officials say all the stars who have been publicly outed are taking some of the necessary steps.

“The great thing about the celebrities is they’re all working with us to get to where they need to be,” McNutt said.

District officials said people need to do away with thirsty lawns and replace them with drought-tolerant landscaping and install drip irrigation, which sends the water straight to the root to help save plants and trees.

In the meantime, water officials said they’d love to work with high-profile people to demonstrate how to create a more drought-tolerant California.

“What I would love for them to do is contact me and work with me to put out public service messages, not only about what they’re doing, but how people can be like them and be a part of the solution,” McNutt said.

Water officials have installed about 50 of the flow restriction devices to various homes. McNutt said none of those homes belong to celebrities, because all of them are cooperating to bring down their water usage.

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