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Originally published June 27 2015

Due to extreme drought, famous Hollywood actors now living like campers in the woods; flush only after 'number two'

by Daniel Barker

(NaturalNews) California remains in the grip of a record-breaking, four-year drought, and Governor Jerry Brown has called for a 25 percent reduction of water usage statewide. Cities and communities throughout the state have responded by instituting their own water usage restrictions, and Hollywood is no exception.

The Beverly Hills City Council has adopted a stringent set of guidelines designed to curb water use by 36 percent in accordance with the statewide goal of reducing usage by that amount before 2016. The new restrictions are accompanied by $1,000 fines for violations.

Hollywood studios and even the stars themselves are joining in the effort to stop wasting water. The six major Hollywood studios have all begun doing their part to limit water usage, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fox Studios has installed "cloud-connected irrigation systems, new artificial turf and retrofitted cooling systems for offices and soundstages." Two of the other big studios, Warner Bros. and Universal, are now using low-flow fixtures and reclaimed water.

"If it's yellow, let it mellow..."

The stars are responding to the crisis in their own separate ways. Some, like LL Cool J, are becoming more careful about how long they run the water in their showers, while others, such as Sharon Osbourne, are careful not to take baths or flush the toilet too often. "When I pee, I don't flush. Only when I do number two, I flush," says Osbourne.

However, the majority of water usage in Hollywood occurs outdoors; landscape irrigation accounts for as much as two-thirds of consumption in Beverly Hills.

Trish Rhay, assistant director of Public Works Services, said:

Landscape watering accounts for 60 percent to 70 percent of our total use, with the majority of irrigation use coming from single and multifamily properties, 75 percent of our customers. Going from three to two days a week with 100 percent compliance would only produce a 30 percent reduction and will not get us to 36 percent, which is the state requirement. We'll need to see additional reductions in home and business use to meet that goal.

Stars adopt desert landscaping for their Hollywood homes

Many of the stars and other local residents have switched to desert landscapin, or xeriscaping. Actress Kate Walsh is currently installing desert landscaping, and singer Billy Cyrus has already made the change. "I changed my landscaping last year and made it gravel and succulents and desert plants. It looks cool and saves water," he said.

Inspectors have begun making the rounds and issuing fines as of May 6. The new regulations for Beverly Hills include limiting irrigation to two days per week, restricting the washing of building exteriors and vehicles, prohibiting the refilling of existing pools, and reducing general usage by 30 percent.

California is not the only state experiencing record droughts. Many of the western and southwestern states are in serious trouble because of a severe drought that has lasted more than a decade.

Doing your part

Whether you live in one of the affected states or not, water usage should still be a concern. Water supplies across the globe are subject to a steady increase in demand, and wasting it needlessly is inexcusable regardless of where you live.

Fixing household leaks alone could save around one trillion gallons per year nationwide. Ten percent of American homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day, according to the EPA. Most leaks, such as those involving toilet flappers and faucets, can be easily and inexpensively repaired.

Repairing those household leaks is just one way to contribute to water conservation. By simply becoming aware of how much water is wasted in a typical household -- for example, by letting the tap run while brushing your teeth -- one can begin making small adjustments that protect our precious water resources while also saving money.


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