Sylvester Stallone, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Hart, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian are among the top personalities in entertainment and sports.
They may be among the biggest names in water waste in the affluent San Fernando Valley enclaves of Calabasas and Hidden Hills, according to papers obtained by The Times.
The celebrities were among over 2,000 customers who received “notices of exceedance” from the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District recently, indicating that they had exceeded 150% of their monthly water budgets at least four times since the agency declared a drought emergency at the end of last year.
Their properties must now have flow restrictor devices installed, which can decrease showers to a trickle and mute lawn sprinklers.
“Customers are expected to comply with the water use cutbacks and water conservation measures that have been implemented as a result of this emergency,” the notices stated.
Las Virgenes implemented stringent “Stage 3” restrictions on June 1 in an effort to achieve a previously unheard 50% reduction in usage owing to a water scarcity situation. Outdoor watering is limited to one day per week, with only eight minutes each station on the specified day.
Customers received usage notifications in May and June. The materials were obtained after the Times filed a request under the California Public Records Act.
Among the properties served with letters was a $18 million Hidden Hills mansion filed under the name of former NBA player Wade, which exceeded its allowed water allowance by more than 1,400%, or 90,000 gallons, in June. This was an improvement over May, when the property surpassed its budget by 489,000 gallons – more than twice the amount allowed.
Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, blamed the excessive use on an issue with their pool. The pair said in a statement that they have “taken drastic steps to cut water usage in compliance with the new city requirements and have done so since we moved into our home.”
“We have done everything possible to correct the situation and will continue to go to great lengths to remedy it,” the statement stated. “To lower our water usage, we have changed all sections of our pool system that deal with water flow and leakage, as well as converted to synthetic grass and drought-tolerant plants.” We will continue to collaborate with the city and the water distribution corporation to achieve our goals.
An $18 million, 2.26-acre Hidden Hills property owned by Stallone and his wife, model Jennifer Flavin, was also alerted for excessive use. In June, the property utilized over 533% more than its allocated budget – 230,000 extra gallons. This was up from 195,000 extra gallons in May.
Stallone’s attorney, Marty Singer, told The Times that the figures could “mischaracterize and mislead the circumstances involving the water usage at my client’s property.”
“They have over 500 mature trees on the property, including numerous fruit trees and pine trees,” according to the statement. “Without appropriate watering, they would most likely perish.” As a result, dead or damaged trees may fall on my client’s or adjoining homes.”
“My client has been dealing with the situation appropriately and aggressively,” the statement added. They’ve allowed grass to die, and other parts are watered with a drip watering system. They also notified the city about the mature trees and are awaiting an examination and further guidance from the city on how to proceed. I am convinced that all of the larger properties in the vicinity are experiencing similar problems. As a result, I am confident that my client will not be unfairly singled out.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the wholesaler that ordered the reduction after the state curtailed supplies earlier this year, has stated that people must limit their water consumption to around 80 gallons per person per day in order to preserve dangerously low supplies.