According to a new report in the Los Angeles Times, there’s no better place for climate criminals to seek refuge amid an ongoing drought than the Southern California enclaves of Hidden Hills and Calabasas. Who knew?
The state is currently in its third year of unrelenting drought and has imposed restrictions on water usage. However, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Sylvester Stallone, Dwayne Wade, and Kevin Hart apparently think their sprawling estates are exceptions to the exceedingly necessary rules.
Fortunately for their publicists, they’re just five of over 2,000 customers that have surpassed 150% of their monthly water budgets more than four times since California Gov. Gavin Newsom officially declared a drought emergency in 2021. Such residents were sent “notices of exceedance” by the agency in May and June.
In March, following the driest January and February on record, a water shortage emergency was declared by state officials, and months later, further restrictions were enacted by Las Virgenes—the district that encompasses Calabasas—in an attempt to reach 50% reduction in consumption. Those restrictions included limiting outdoor watering to one day a week, for eight minutes only.
Of course, Angeleno elites have refused to adjust, as only they could do. The wife of a local gardener told the Times that her husband, who is employed by homeowners in Beverly Hills and Bel Air, said clients continued to instruct him to maintain their watering schedule in direct disobedience of the state’s regulations.
As a result, the estates of the thousands who have yet to heed the rules—including Wade, Hart, Stallone and the Kardashians—could be forced to install flow restrictor devices, to modulate their water usage.
Representatives for Hart and the Kardashians did not respond to the Times’ requests for comment, but a lawyer for Stallone told the newspaper that his client is simply maintaining the 500 mature fruit and pine trees on his $18-million, 2.26-acre property. In June, the same month the Las Virgenes restrictions were put in place, Stallone used a reported 533% more than the property’s allocated budget.
Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, blamed excessive use—90,000 gallons of water—on an issue with the $18 million estate’s pool: “We have replaced all parts of our pool system that [have] to do with water flow and leakage in addition to converting to synthetic grass and drought tolerant plants to reduce our water usage,” they said in a statement. “We will continue to work with the city and the water distribution company to make sure this isn’t an issue moving forward.” Oh, well, as long as it was an issue with their pool, I’m sure the planet will understand!
I suppose none of this is all that surprising for these particular celebrities—namely those who boast their own cashmere-lined private jets they use for even the most banal of excursions, but alas, here I am, gobsmacked by yet another example of their flagrant disregard in the face of catastrophic climate change.
To paraphrase the prophetess Hilary Duff in the cult classic A Cinderella Story, waiting for the obscenely wealthy to be decent people is like waiting for rain in a three-year drought: Useless and disappointing.