As the California drought worsens, the State Water Resources Control Board has released hard numbers on which regions drain the state's water supplies most. It turns out that the biggest water users tend to be wealthy suburbanites ... with one exception.
Photo by Rick Loomis via LA Times
The numbers come from September to October of 2014, and according to Todd Woody, writing on Mashable, the biggest water users in the state also come from one of the country's richest suburbs. "Tesidents of Rancho Santa Fe, a San Diego County enclave often listed as one of the nation's richest zip codes, used 584.4 gallons of water per person. Per day," he writes.
Wealthy city-dwellers had much better water habits. Woody continues:
San Franciscans, on the other had, consumed a scant 45.7 gallons of water per techie daily, the lowest rate in the state, according to the data. Los Angeles residents consumed 92.8 gallons per person a day ... In Santa Cruz, the surf mecca south of San Francisco that has imposed strict water rationing, per capita use was 49 gallons ... The exclusive town of Hillsborough, home to many of Silicon Valley's movers and shakers, turned on the taps to the tune of 290 gallons per day ... But overall, California's biggest water hogs live in Southern California and usage tends to track bank accounts. Each Beverley Hills resident, for instance, used 285.6 gallons of water a day last month compared to 49.7 gallons for those residing in East Los Angeles.
Basically the only city dwellers who didn't use under 100 gallons per day were those wealthy Beverly Hills residents. And their usage numbers were in stark contrast to the average LA water user, as well as people in the working class East LA neighborhood.
These numbers make some sense when you consider the dramatic differences between urban and suburban life. In a suburban house, people use a lot of water on lawns and other water features. In a city like San Francisco, though, you're extremely unlikely to have a lawn at all, let alone a pool or giant tub.
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