The Water Department of Los Angeles Put Celebrities In Check By Restricting Water When Wasteful
When it comes to the many moods of mother nature, no one gets a free pass, not even the rich
When it comes to the many moods of mother nature, no one gets a free pass, not even the rich and famous. Los Angeles is currently living in a historic drought and local authorities have taken a simple step to keep the wealthy in check, as some continue to keep their widespread lawns and ornate gardens flourishing.
“We have taken a very firm position on being equal. It doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you make, how well-known you are: all of you are being treated the same,” said Mike McNutt, a spokesperson for the Las Virgenes water district, serving areas including Calabasas and Hidden Hills – popular celebrity cities.
The solution? A "flow restrictor."
A Tiny Yet Mighty Solution
A tiny metal disc known as a "flow restrictor" can be installed in minutes over the pipes of chronic water wasters, dramatically slowing down a home's water flow. And, by dramatic we mean, can't shower at the same time as your washing dishes type of dramatic.
This tiny yet mighty gadget is made out of food-safe stainless steel with a tiny hole at the center. Cason Gilmer, the district's senior field customer service representative, created this flow restrictor and tested it in his own home. He shared that the sinks and toilets "worked fine," the shower operated at about 60 percent normal volume, but "you have to be really water conscious" because "you can't use two things at the same time." Therefore, keeping your grass beautifully green is almost impossible.
Small device, big impact: demonstrating how to install a “flow restrictor.” pic.twitter.com/AjTADlPOan— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) September 27, 2022
But, what exactly qualifies someone for this restrictor? Glad you asked.
According to The Guardian, If a resident has exceeded their water limit by 150 percent at least four times since December 2021 they can be considered for this new tactic to save water. However, among the 1,600 people in the district who qualify, only about six or seven dozen have been put into place as of early September.
Residents are given multiple opportunities to talk with water district officials and change their habits before receiving a restrictor. However, if they do, it's in place for just two weeks.
Mother Nature Gives Out Zero Freebees
California's ongoing megadrought, that only became worse this year, forced mandatory cutbacks on all residents, enforceable with fines. However, with the rich being well… rich, the Las Virgene water district faced a different type of challenge. The fines didn't scare the wealthy into changing their habits, even as they mandated a 50 percent reduction in outdoor watering. Therefore, the flow restrictor was born.
Gilmer shared that those who have been presented with the risk of having their water slowed down didn't throw a fit, for the most part.
Celebrities including the comedian Kevin Hart, rapper The Game, and Scott Disick have recieved a flow restrictor on their home with a few more who could be next. Stars such as Kim Kardashian, Sylvester Stallone, and Madonna are all included on the list of violators to be eligible.
Stallone specifically has given some pushback. A representative for the actor defended him in a statement saying that he is trying to keep more than 500 mature trees alive, on his property. However, it was last noted that he's working with the water district to resolve the problem.
And, on the other end of that is a handful of celebrities who are sharing their efforts to reduce their water use. Environmentalist Erin Brockovich and former NBA star Dwyane Wade have made public statements about how they're going about using less water.
While the drought continues and water stays scarce, some residents, such as Kourtney Kardashian, have allowed their grass to turn brown, while others have taken to spray-painting their lawns to keep their greenery looking green and their water use low.
As California continues to take action against this water crisis, McNutt hopes for everyone to do the same saying, “I am asking any celebrity, any of them, to step up and use their platforms to talk about water conservation, to talk about climate change.”