California residents are currently battling a record-breaking drought, but that hasn’t stopped some of its richest residents from demanding their lawns be put first when it comes to the latest water rations, the Washington Post reports.
Residents of the wealthy Rancho Santa Fe community are speaking out on the current restrictions being placed on Californians. The community, surrounded by acres and acres of empty land, gated homes and country clubs, takes in a reported five times more water than the statewide average. Now, for the first time in the town’s 92-year-history, it will be subject to limitations on water usage.
According to the Post:
Households will be assigned an essential allotment for basic indoor needs. Any additional usage — sprinklers, fountains, swimming pools — must be slashed by nearly half for the district to meet state-mandated targets. In a place where the median income is $189,000, where PGA legend Phil Mickelson once requested a separate water meter for his chipping greens, where financier Ralph Whitworth last month paid the Rolling Stones $2 million to play at a local bar, the fine, at $100, was less than intimidating.
So far, three citations have been given out. If residents don’t abide by the limit, their water will be shut off. Residents like Steve Yuhas aren’t thrilled about the new rules, because in his world, water should not be equal between the rich and poor.
People “should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful,” Yuhas fumed recently on social media. “We pay significant property taxes based on where we live,” he added in an interview. “And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water.”
He also explained he and others aren’t happy that their once bright green lawns will look like the deserts of Africa because, ignorance.
“I’m a conservative, so this is strange, but I defend Barbra Streisand’s right to have a green lawn,” said Yuhas, who splits his time between Rancho Santa Fe and Los Angeles. “When we bought, we didn’t plan on getting a place that looks like we’re living in an African savanna.”
Yuhas’ offensive comments aside, many residents do support the new rations and plan to use the opportunity to downsize. Rancho Santa Fe resident Randy Woods’ bill went from $500 a month to $50. Some residents are having trouble selling their multi-million dollar homes due to the drought. Others have continued to ignore the rations, as water usage increased by 9 percent.
President of the Rancho Santa Fe Association, Anne Boon, claims residents are taking the drought seriously – despite the increase.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty