The Golden State Water Company's Cowan Heights water district serves about 3,400 people in the small, very wealthy neighborhood of the same in unincorporated North Tustin in Orange County. This past February, those residents used an average of 340 gallons of water per person per day—more than any other community in Los Angeles or Orange counties, says CBS LA. Affluent, single-family-house-centric communities often have large houses on sprawling lots; research has found that wealth is "the most reliable predictor of water use," and that's definitely the case here. But at the same time, there are plenty of wealthy enclaves in LA and the OC that aren't guzzling 340 gallons day per person in February—even thirsty La Cañada only used 231 gallons per person in the same period.
GSWC says in a statement that Cowan Heights actually used less water in 2014 than it had in 2013, though a New York Times map using information from the state water board shows that there was no change in water consumption numbers between July 2013 and July 2014, when Cowan Heights residents used an incredible 581 gallons per person each day.
· Water Board Report: Small OC Town Using More Water Per Day Than Beverly Hills [CBS LA]
· Mapping/Shaming the Most Water-Guzzling Places in SoCal [Curbed LA]
· Study: Rich LA Neighborhoods Are Using More Water Than Everyone Else [Curbed LA]