Oprah Winfrey has reportedly been getting thousands of gallons of fresh water delivered daily to her massive Montecito estate–which she refers to as “The Promised Land”–in response to increased restrictions on water usage.
In light of one of the most severe droughts in California’s storied history, local officials have mandated involuntary water restrictions statewide.
Los Angeles’ earliest settlers struggled with a shortage of water in the area, and it wasn’t until the famous Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed in 1913 that the area’s water problems were solved, and L.A. county was open for settlement by the masses.
Water has been scarce lately, but that hasn’t stopped Oprah Winfrey.
Last November, the general manager from the Montecito Water District warned locals that they would run dry if they failed to reduce their water consumption by at least 30 percent.
Fast forward to today: tanker trucks are drawing water from lakes and wells in surrounding areas in Santa Barbara County and then distributing up to 5,000 gallons to Winfrey and other residents before 7 a.m. every morning.
The philanthropist’s annual water bill was an estimated $125,000 about a year ago. This year, it is already cut in half, thanks to this method of bypassing local regulations.
“We ought to be ready for a long, continued, persistent effort to restrain our water use,” he said.
A columnist from the Montecito Journal estimated that nearly a third of Montecito residents are following in Oprah’s foot steps, and each spend around $15,000 per month for freshly delivered water.