It's the end of December, when according to tradition we make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to all the best, worst, and shitshowiest of things that happened in Los Angeles this year. These are your 2015 Curbed Awards.Photo via Robyn Beck / Getty Images
If the predictions hold true, 2016 will be the year of a big, wet El Niño, but 2015 was definitely dominated by the years-long California drought. Mandatory water restrictions; droughtshaming neighbors who leave the sprinklers on for hours; and trees dying off faster in the Valley, near Downtown, and across the city all became the new norm. But not for all. For some brazen people out there, there was no change, and there was no need to cut back, and it is them we honor today. Ladies and gents, your worst drought offenders of 2015:
The Bel Air Household Using Enough Water For About 90 Households
↑ Rightfully kicking off this list is the mysterious Bel Air household that used 11.8 million gallons of water—enough for about 90 households—in a one-year period during a terrible, years-long drought. But also deserving of some shaming is the LADWP, which didn't and see any reason to do anything to penalize this customer, big-time water wasters in general, or any individual user at all for excessive use of water (besides sending scolding letters to the top one percent of users).
The Rancho Santa Fe Household Using Way More Water Than The One in Bel Air
↑ Just when we thought that the situation in Bel Air was bad (and it is), there was news from the south that a household in tony, water-loving Rancho Santa Fe was using enough water for 110 typical households. Behold, a new water king! To be fair, even though this family blew through 13.8 million gallons of water in a year, they'd cut back a lot compared to their previous use, which got as high as 57 million gallons in a year, and even in 2013 hovered around 28 million gallons. Good job, folks, but that's still outrageous. Rancho Santa Fe has long been thirsty community—after the statewide mandatory water cutbacks were announced in the spring, they used 9 percent more water—so even though they are definite drought offenders, they're at least on the right track?
↑ Beverly Hills was never even in the game. It was among the biggest water users in the area when the mandatory cutbacks were announced, plus rich neighborhoods generally tend to use more water. When the restrictions came down, Beverly Hills residents seemed to show a lot of concern for the integrity of their swimming pools, and less about how to cut back. So it wasn't really a huge surprise when, in October, they were slapped with a $61,000 fine for failing to meet their conservation goals for four months in a row.
↑ Why does poor Magnum PI get singled out? Because, a lawsuit alleged, he trucked in water from a hydrant in another water district several times to sate his 60-acre ranch near Westlake Village. In the end, Selleck settled with the water district—he paid out a little over $21,000, which covered the water district's costs for hiring a private eye to follow a tanker to the fill-up site and back to Selleck's ranch. Selleck said he had no idea that bringing the water in to his ranch from the hydrant was illegal.
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Kylie Jenner, Jennifer Lopez
↑ Kim and Kayne started off on the wrong foot with their new neighbors, moving into a tasteful Hidden Hills mansion with vivd green grass last year and dedicating lots of water to keeping it up. Wrong move: the verdant lawn, hedges, and flowers repulsed neighbors, who were trying to cut back on their water use because of that crippling, statewide drought. "It's disgusting. You walk by and you can smell the freshness," one neighbor said. It must run in the family, as Kylie Jenner's water use also went unchecked, and she received two citations for using too much water at her Calabasas mansion over the summer. (The area's water district hired water cops over the summer to help crack down on wasters.) In the same neighborhood, Jennifer Lopez's mansion has been irking its neighbors for years with its emerald grass, but "An unidentified source says ... the star's response has been consistently 'dismissive.'"
· Curbed Awards 2015 [Curbed LA]
· Droughtshaming [Curbed LA]