By Lance Williams.
Los Angeles’ 100 biggest residential water customers cut back their use after Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting exposed profligate water waste in some of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
But the top 100 users still pumped enough water during the fifth year of California’s crippling drought to supply the needs of 2,800 ordinary households, records show.
L.A.’s mega-users live in Bel Air, Beverly Hills and other mansion-studded, lushly landscaped neighborhoods on the city’s ultraexpensive west side, according to utility records obtained by Reveal.
Together, these 100 homeowners pumped an astonishing 371 million gallons of water in the 12 months ending in April 2016, the records show.
That’s 54 million gallons, or 12 percent less, than the city’s top 100 used the year before. It’s a significant savings, city officials say.
Still, even at this reduced level, the top 100 pumped enough water last year to flood the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to a depth of 63 feet – or to provide a year’s water supply to more than 8,100 Californians, according to a state estimate.