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Some wealthy Californians aren't happy with state-wide water restrictions as the region battles one of the worst droughts in recent history. Talk show host Steve Yuhas recently ignited a fierce debate when he said people 'should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns.'

Rich Californians scoff at water rationing, cite inequality


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 4:25 - Some wealthy Californians aren't happy with state-wide water restrictions as the region battles one of the worst droughts in recent history. Talk-show host Steve Yuhas recently ignited a fierce debate when he said 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,' the Washington Post Reports.

Yuhas is a resident of California's Rancho Santa Fe neighbourhood, a wealthy enclave where $189,000 is the median income.

He argued the rich pay 'significant property taxes' on their properties and should be subjected to different restrictions.

“And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water,” he added.

In April, California officials imposed mandatory water restrictions in the hopes of reducing water usage by 25 percent. According to the Washington Post, water consumption in Rancho Santa Fe increased by 9 percent following the announcement.

But the water-wasting may soon come to an end: Starting July 1, Rancho Santa Fe will be subject to water rationing, for the first time in its 92-year history.


RELATED: Starbucks stops sourcing water from California amid drought


Jessica Parks, spokeswoman for the Santa Fe Irrigation District, told the Washington Post the new mandate means residents will be given a certain amount of water per billing period.

"And if you go over that, there will be high penalties,” she said.

It's no surprise that some of California's wealthy residents are opposed to water restrictions, despite drought conditions.

In May, shocking aerial photos depicted lush green estate lawns belonging to celebrities.

The homes of Jennifer Lopez and Barbara Streisand were among those photographed. 

The Washington Post article has prompted a fierce debate about water access, generating 7,000 comments and counting.

"In case one forgets American history, we had a serious drought in the 1940s exacerbated by nonstop windstorms that sucked up the country's former breadbasket and blew it to kingdom come," commenter Kathy Cheer wrote. 

"Men, women, children clambered aboard a junkyard jalopy, some clothes and whatnots, and headed outseeking a new life on the West Coast ... Ration your water and stop buying plastic bottles."

"Paying a higher water fee isn't what these selfish people need," another commenter added.

"Aren't they aware that it takes water to LIVE? If they go over a reasonable allotment (and that doesn't mean to water acres of grass) their water flow should be cut off."

California is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in modern history, with more than 90 percent of the state experiencing severe drought conditions or worse, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Source: The Washington Post

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