Kim and Kourtney Kardashian are among the celebrities accused of exceeding their monthly water budget during California’s third year of drought.
In southern California, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District declared a drought emergency last year.
According to The Los Angeles Times, more than 2,000 residents have exceeded the district’s water budget by 150% since then.
However, some celebrities in the area have gone over their budget by more than 500%.
According to The Los Angeles Times, comedian Kevin Hart, two of the Kardashian sisters, actor Sylvester Stallone, and NBA player Dwayne Wade were among the biggest violators of their local water restrictions in Southern California as the state enters its third year of drought.
According to records obtained from the water supplier, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which serves affluent cities in the San Fernando Valley such as Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village, and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, issued “notices of exceedance” to more than 2,000 customers.
Residents have been receiving this notice since December 1, 2021, when they use more than 150% of their water budget more than four times, according to Mike McNutt, a spokesman for the water district.
However, some of the celebrities accused of violating water restrictions have spent more than 500% of their budgets.
In June, a 26-acre Calabasas property listed with Hart exceeded its budget by 519%, or 117,000 gallons.
Kim Kardashian’s Hidden Hills properties went over budget by about 230,000 gallons, while Kourtney Kardashian’s 1.86-acre property near Calabasas went over budget by about 101,000 gallons.
The Kardashians’ spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In May, a Hidden Hills property owned by Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, used more water than any other customer, clocking in at 489,000 gallons. The property used 90,000 gallons of water in June, exceeding the water budget by 1,400%.
The couple told The Los Angeles Times that the usage was caused by a problem with their pool and that they are actively working to resolve the situation.
“We have done everything we can to correct the situation and will continue to go to great lengths to resolve it,” the couple told The Los Angeles Times. “To reduce our water usage, we have replaced all parts of our pool system that deal with water flow and leakage, as well as converted to synthetic grass and drought-tolerant plants. We will continue to collaborate with the city and the water distribution company to ensure that this does not become an issue in the future.”
Stallone and his wife, Jennifer Flavin, own a 2.26-acre property in Hidden Hills that went over budget by 544%, or 230,00 gallons. According to The Los Angeles Times, this was a 195,000 gallon increase from May.
According to Stallone’s attorney Marty Singer, the figures “mischaracterize and misrepresent the situation regarding the water usage at my client’s property.” Singer mentioned the “500 mature trees” on the property, which could die if not properly watered.
“My client has handled the situation in a responsible and proactive manner. They’ve allowed grass to die, and other areas are watered with a drip irrigation system. They also notified the city about the mature trees and are awaiting an inspection and further guidance from the city on how to proceed “The attorney wrote to The Los Angeles Times. “I am confident that all of the larger properties in the area are experiencing similar problems. As a result, I am confident that my client will not be unfairly singled out in the story because he is famous.”
A request for comment from Stallone’s attorney was not immediately returned.
Water budgets are tailored to each household within the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. Indoor and outdoor use, as well as “special adjustments” such as “medical needs” or “horse care,” are taken into account, according to the district’s website.
Penalties include not only a surcharge on the water bill, but the third penalty requires the installation of a flow restriction device.
“What this restrictor does is completely irradiates the functionality of your irrigation system,” McNutt explained, adding that outdoor landscaping accounts for 70% of water usage.
According to McNutt, approximately 7.3% of the district’s customer base is on a waiting list for the restrictor device. However, due to a lack of resources, the district instals 20 devices per week, beginning with the “most egregious water users.”
The drought in California is in its third year.
According to the state government website, most of California is currently experiencing “severe drought” conditions, indicating that the fire season will be longer, trees are “stressed,” and wildlife diseases will increase.
This is also not the first time celebrities have been caught and chastised for their water consumption during droughts.
Jennifer Lopez and Barbra Streisand were among several high-profile figures whose watering habits were exposed during a water-cutting campaign in 2015.
Kylie Jenner was also fined $100 by the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District in 2015 for excessive water usage.
In the interview, McNutt stated that the best way for property owners to reduce water usage is to remove their lawns entirely and replace them with alternative methods of outdoor landscaping such as laying down turf, mulch, or pulverised granite.
“Lawns are so thirsty and require so much water that it just doesn’t work any longer,” he explained. “As a result, we must rethink what is aesthetically pleasing in our outdoor living spaces. We really don’t have a choice any longer.”
Insider published the original article.