California’s drought has now left nearly half of the state in an “exceptional drought,” according to the most recent data the United States Drought Monitor. That’s nearly double the percent of the state suffering from the highest classification of drought at the same time last year.
In turn, California has also rolled out another record-breaker — limitations on water use are now the strictest that citizens of the state have ever faced. Due to complications arising from the drought, even some of California’s “most senior water rights holders” are being asked to cut back.
Some members of the state, however, don’t think that the California drought’s drawbacks should be quite as inconvenient for them as the state is pushing. Some of the areas with the highest water bills are facing cuts as high as 36 percent. A recent article in The Washington Post singled out one such high income community to see how locals were reacting to the announcement that they would be subjected to cuts in their water usage.
The area in question, Rancho Santa Fe, isn’t exactly the poster child for responsibly dealing with the California drought. Following a Gov. Jerry Brown-endorsed call to use 25 percent less water, the community actually used 9 percent more water, reported Washington Post. One resident, conservative radio host Steve Yuhas, doesn’t think that the rich should have to suffer through meager water usage as long as they have the resources to pay for it.
“[People] should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful… We pay significant property taxes based on where we live. And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water.”
Gay Butler, another local resident, also told the Post that she was unhappy with the way Rancho Santa Fe had been delegated such a high cut to their water use in the face of the drought.
“I think we’re being overly penalized, and we’re certainly being overly scrutinized by the world. It angers me because people aren’t looking at the overall picture… What are we supposed to do, just have dirt around our house on four acres?”
Less fortunate people affected by the California will be happy to know that that the Obama administration is doling out a total of $110 million to help combat the effects of the drought. The majority of this money will go to California, where it will assist “farmers, displaced workers and rural communities,” according to The Los Angeles Times.
[Image via Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images]