Los Angeles, CA

Opinion: Time For Rich Water Wasters to Stop Building Pools

Amancay Tapia

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In popular Netflix show, Selling Sunset, the mansions on sale for those with very large pockets all have infinite pools for the wealthy buyer to enjoy. Watching the show, I was stunned at how not even once the glamorous state agents or buyers showed concern about the dangers of the draught in Los Angeles. Listening to them, you would think Los Angeles is the land where water never runs out.

They promote infinity pools and unnecessary bathrooms per house where water goes to waste in self-indulgent baths as a must have. Unsurprisingly, buyers and owners of properties where water goes to waste on a daily basis, claim to be worried about climate change. Do as I say not as I do is the motto of many Californian based celebrities and wealthy residents.

In the spring, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared severe water restrictions for residents and businesses in the counties around Los Angeles. Effective June 1, outdoor water usage was limited to one day a week for about six-million residents in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties. However, last year, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety issued almost 3,000 permits for new pool construction. According to Bloomberg, there are a quarter-million private swimming pools in Los Angeles County.

"People need to take these restrictions seriously," MWD General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said. "So we must do everything we can to lower our use and stretch this limited supply. If residents and businesses don't respond immediately, we'll have to take even stronger action."

MWD provides water to member agencies, including the cities of Beverly Hills, Compton, and Los Angeles.

However, neither celebrities or those who keep building swimming pools seem to be worried at all about water shortages or the drought. First thing they show when they open the door of their huge homes, is the pool and huge spa style bathrooms. Me first, Mother nature last except when giving some over the top speech at an awards ceremony where they present themselves as climate change crusaders.

California faces a critical shortage of water, the state is already in its third year of severe drought according to water officials. “California just experienced the driest first three months of the year on record, and drought is worsening throughout the West,” said California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot. “Climate-driven water extremes are part of our reality now. The Save Our Water campaign aims to create a broader and long-term culture of water conservation and highlights the urgency for Californians to take important steps to save water. From everyday actions like watering less outdoors to switching to low-water plants, there are simple steps we all can take.”

Water wasters including those promoting swimming pools in mansions as aspirational, are just as detached from reality and obnoxious as Cowboys and Indians movies.

The Office of governor Gavin Newsom has a website highlighting key ways Californians can save the most water as well as other water-saving actions.

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