The New York Times today (November 30) has a long story on the huge water usage of Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego County's most upscale community. According to state data, the tony town's residents used an average 584 gallons of water a day in September, almost five times the average for coastal Southern California.
September usage was down only 1.5 percent from September of last year, compared with 10.3 percent statewide. Rancho Santa Fe, whose "palatial homes are surrounded by rolling grass lawns," says the Times, luxuriates "as people in low-income corners of the San Joaquin Valley cope with dry taps and toilets they cannot flush."
Michael Bardin, general manager of the Santa Fe Irrigation District (embracing Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch, and Solana Beach) is encouraging water conservation. Outdoor watering is restricted to three days a week. The Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club is beginning to take up 20 acres of turf with the promise of $1.6 million from the water authorities, according to the Times.
The article quotes an old saying: "In the American West, water flows uphill to money."