List of water abusers during drought includes celebs like Kim Kardashian, Kevin Hart

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Kardashians, Kevin Hart make the list of biggest water abusers
The celebrities on the list are already cooperating to reduce water usage, with Sylvester Stallone's attorney saying he's "addressing the situation responsibly and proactively."

CALABASAS, Calif. (KABC) -- California is being told to conserve water because of the historic drought, but some of the wealthiest and most famous Southern Californians are among those who are using - and abusing - the most water.

The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which includes the communities of Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, and Hidden Hills, provides water to some of the largest homes with the lushest lawns and wealthiest customers in Southern California.

A list of 1,600 customers who are using too much water includes many well-known celebrities. Among them: Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Kevin Hart and Sylvester Stallone.

The district says those on the list have been warned. Many of them, including most of the celebrities, have said they will cooperate and make efforts to reduce their water usage.

Those who don't cooperate by further reducing water usage face the risk of having a flow-restriction device installed that limits the amount of water going into their homes - from showers and toilets to lawn irrigation systems.

Already, 50 customers have had the device installed for a period of two weeks.

A spokesman for the district notes it is difficult to impose financial penalties alone on wealthy customers. For some, the device is the only way to force a change.

"There's really no other way to get past a clientele that has the means to pay for enormous water bills," said Mike McNutt, spokesman for Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. "Penalties assessed to their water bills don't really have an impact. What does have an impact is creating an aggravation for individuals to say, this bothers me. I want to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem."

Barry Groveman, a former mayor of Calabasas, believes people need to take action in conserving water.

"People need to voluntarily do it," said Groveman. "And if they don't, stronger measures are going to have to be taken because we're all sharing it, and the drought is rather obvious."

About 70% of all residential water usage is for outdoors, meaning lawns.

McNutt says the celebrities on the list are already cooperating, and he hopes they use their platforms to help reduce water usage.

Sylvester Stallone's attorney says his client's family has been working to reduce their water usage.

"My client has been addressing the situation responsibly and proactively," said attorney Marty Singer. "They have let grasses die, and other areas are watered by a drip irrigation system. They also notified the city regarding the mature trees and are awaiting an inspection and further instruction from the city about how to proceed."

McNutt thinks the best way to save water is to remove a lawn.

MORE | Would you rip up your lawn for $6 a square foot? Welcome to drought-stricken California

The drought is forcing cities in the West to crack down on lawn-watering, and paying residents to replace their lawns with drought-resistant plants.

"Install native landscaping, drought tolerant landscaping," McNutt added. "Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it's also good for the ecosystem."

Another tip for saving water is to hand water your yard instead of using sprinklers, and if you prefer the look of grass, artificial turf is a great option.