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Los Angeles Might Try to Stop People From Using 12 Million Gallons of Water a Year

In the wake of the news that some mansion in Bel Air sucked down 11.8 million gallons of water last year—said to be enough for 90 regular households— one appalled Los Angeles City Councilmember is trying to make such enormous water usage illegal. While the LADWP will fine you for a broken sprinkler, they say there's no law on the books "to go after an individual customer strictly for their use" (or overuse) and they aren't interested in proposing one. So Councilmember Paul Koretz, whose district includes Bel Air, has suggested changing that, says the LA Times.

Koretz has introduced a motion that would have the LADWP report back in 30 days with some suggestions about things they can do to crack down on excessive water users, including possible solutions like "imposing severe financial penalties and, as a last resort, shutting-off water for water abusers."

Koretz argues that these "water abusers" are not only an affront to all the people who "have heroically complied with austere water use measures," but also that they're costing everybody money, as the cost of importing water to make up for "shortfalls" is distributed equally among ratepayers. "We were horrified to read that there were abusers of that scale, and we have to figure out how to get a handle on that," Koretz says.

Why can't someone just ask this flagrant water waster (or the other top water wasters in the state—all of whom are in Bel Air and surrounding areas) to knock it off? It's not possible, actually, to go to the person's door and say, "Please, what is wrong with you? Stop this immediately" because LA WP won't tell anyone (not the Center for Investigative Reporting, not the LA Times, not the LA City Council) who these guzzlers are. Although the names and addresses of people who are cited for small water-related infractions become public record, they draw the line at letting anyone know who is using the most water in California, aside from the zip code in which they reside.
· Drought posse searching for Bel Air's biggest water waster [LAT]
· Bel Air Household Used 11.8 Million Gallons of Water Last Year [Curbed LA]
· Motion: Excessive Water Use / Water Abusers / Penalties [City Clerk]