By now, Californians are well aware of the severe water shortages affecting their state.
In February, nearly 19 in 20 (94%) California voters called the drought a “serious” problem, and 68 percent classified it as an “extremely serious” problem.
However, a number of celebrities with homes in the state have apparently not received the memo.
According to the New York Post, many of them, including Barbra Streisand, Kanye West and Jennifer Lopez, have kept their lawns in pristine green condition, with full swimming pools and lush flower beds dotting their spacious backyards in an almost flagrant act of defiance.
California water regulators recently approved a new plan that forces every city and community in the state to conserve water. According to the new regulations, tony Beverly Hills must cut water use by 36 percent, while Los Angeles is required to reduce water usage by 16 percent.
But the law offers very little in the way of punishment for water wasters; for celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Streisand, the thousand-dollar fines are more an inconvenience than a deterrent.
“The Kardashian hedges and flowers are right in our face,” a neighbor of the stars’ Hidden Hill estate told the Post. “It’s disgusting. You walk by and you can smell the freshness.”
The neighbor said the watering habits of pop stars Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Simpson are “just as bad.”
“And because of all their money, they can just pay the extra rates for water and let the city be damned,” the neighbor told the paper.
Despite the wasteful habits of their colleagues, it appears some celebrities are trying to do their part to save water.
Ken Sunshine, a spokesman for Streisand, defended his client’s lush lawns: “She has cut down her water usage by over 50 percent in the last several months and she is going to take further steps to conserve water,” he told the Post.
Meanwhile, Cher, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston have all reportedly made changes to their lawns to help conserve.
“She actually doesn’t have much of a lawn,” a rep for Aniston told the paper. “Her entire front courtyard is mostly stone and trees.”
Aside from cutting back on lawn-watering, other celebrities have turned to more classic forms of water saving.
“When I pee, I don’t flush,” Sharon Osbourne recently explained of changing her bathroom habits. “Only when I do number two, I flush.”
Actor William Shatner has a different plan; last month, the Star Trek star announced plans to launch a $30 billion Kickstarter campaign to build a water pipeline from Seattle to California. Too bad Washington state is having its own water shortage problems.