Are Celebrities Making California’s Drought Even Worse?

Photo: Everett/REX Shutterstock.
Someone, somewhere, has probably been looking for way to blame the Kardashians for California's historic drought. Lucky for that person, the New York Post found photos that suggest Kim, Khloé, and a host of other celebrities are more worried about keeping their lawns green than about the state's ongoing water shortage. Aerial photos published by the tabloid show lush, healthy trees and grass on the estates of pop culture royalty like Kim and Kanye, Jennifer Lopez, and Barbra Streisand; meanwhile, surrounding properties are arid and parched. Governor Jerry Brown ordered mandatory water conservation efforts in April after a historically dry winter and rainy season left many parts of the state in crisis.
Because local agencies are responsible for enforcing water conservation rules, there haven't been as many consequences for wasting water as you'd think; many cities and towns impose only tiny fines for using too much water. When the punishment is only a few hundred dollars, it's hard to make it count to people who probably make more than that in one minute. The paper also quotes one Kardashian neighbor who sounded downright offended by the signs of life — and opulence. "The Kardashian flowers and hedges are right in our face,” the neighbor reportedly said. “It’s disgusting. You walk by, and you can smell the freshness.” Of the celebrities mentioned in the article, only a representative for Streisand responded. He said that the singer had cut her water usage dramatically, but didn't offer comment on the photos.
The Post also gave kudos to a few famous women who are putting effort into conservation. Cher, Julia Roberts, and Jennifer Aniston all got shout-outs for using water-saving plants in their landscaping — and, in Aniston's case, for removing her vineyard. If more stars want to consider changing their habits, they have some recent examples. Last week, Starbucks announced it would shut down the California-based bottling operation for its Ethos brand water. Mother Jones reported that the company had relied on water from a part of the state suffering from "exceptional drought."