California drought hits home for the super rich

We all know the drought in California is reaching historical proportions.


But what has been an inconvenience for many is now increasingly turning into a lifestyle changing event. California's interior lakes and reservoirs are dying up. The landscape looks very different in California these days compared to just 3 years ago.

Now in one of California's richest communities huge water trucks roll into town, as the super rich decide if green lawns and polo fields are worth ten times the going rate for precious water.

Here's more from the Telegraph.

Nestled under the Santa Ynez mountains and cooled by the Pacific Ocean breeze, the billionaires' bolt hole of Montecito, California, seems at first glance like a palm tree-strewn idyll.

Here, in one of America's wealthiest post codes, celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, George Lucas, Rob Lowe, Kevin Costner and Ellen DeGeneres live alongside CEOs too numerous to mention in some of the world's biggest and most outlandish homes.

But look a little closer and it is soon apparent there is trouble in this paradise: not even the likes of Miss Winfrey, it seems, can make it rain.

As California endures what the state's governor Jerry Brown has called a drought of "epochal" proportions, lawns everywhere – including one at a five-acre property owned by the chat show queen – are scorched and gone to seed.

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. In February the Montecito Water District imposed savage cuts on more than 10,000 residents. It announced overall water use would have to fall by 30 per cent or the town would run out in months. Big users saw their water allocation cut by up to 90 per cent. Some residents continued to splurge water from sprinklers so the district levied millions of dollars in fines, eventually threatening to cut off completely those who have been hogging too much water. In a desperate bid to save their manicured lawns and towering topiary, some of Montecito's multi-millionaires have since been trying to out-spend nature by buying water in from outside.

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