“Gone are the days in California when you could throw water around. This is a desert and people have to realise if we run out of water it’s going to return to desert.”
Pat Nesbitt, who owns a 71-acre estate including a polo field, had his water allocation cut by 90 per cent. If he continued to use water at the same rate he was facing fines of $140,000 in a single month.
“We cut back. We don’t water anything any more,” he said. “The polo field is brown. We are still able to play but it doesn’t play as good.”
What a sacrifice.
A polo field also lies unwatered and, according to locals, some owners of $10 million (£6.2 million) homes are eating off paper plates to avoid using their dishwashers.
Can you even imagine. I guess it’s bad for the silver spoons to touch the paper.
But wherever it comes from the (water) buyers appear to be staving off the inevitable only temporarily, and many millionaires are turning to conservation instead. Miss (Oprah) Winfrey is prominent among them.
“Two months ago she just said, ‘Turn off the water’, and now there’s not a green blade of grass on that lawn,” a resident who has seen her parched garden told the Telegraph.
How considerate of her given the drought started years ago and the Water District implemented even more severe rationing seven months ago.
Oh, and she probably doesn’t spend any time there:
At Miss Winfrey’s second and larger Montecito estate – an $85 million affair called Promised Land – the grass is still green but the water bill has also fallen dramatically.
Now that is a relief.
Some are now adhering to Governor Brown’s call for people to flush the toilet less often. John Braid, 83, said: “I do that. Leave it for a day. You’re just wasting water.”
Finally, I’ve been given an explanation for the stage brown cloud floating above LA when I fly in.
Tom Mosby, general manager of Montecito Water District, said: “People come to us and say ‘We want to build a swimming pool’ and we say ‘No’. If it doesn’t rain next year the state’s going to go dry. We are talking about a disaster movie in the making.”
Not that, not “no” to yet another swimming pool in California, that is a disaster.
And, contravening every attempt to avoid animals being hurt in the making of this disaster movie:
Some residents are said to have painted their lawns green.
According to one story a resident’s poodle turned green after rolling in the paint.
Yes people, I do know it’s a serious issue and do truly hope they get relief soon but, come on, some of this writing is funny.