Stargazing

Why is Amy Poehler using up so much precious water?

Amy Poehler is among the Beverly Hills residents who use more than their fair share of water.
Amy Poehler is among the Beverly Hills residents who use more than their fair share of water. Los Angeles Times

And you think you take long showers.

Comedian Amy Poehler used 170,000 gallons of water in only two months last year — more than six and half times the water usage of an average Los Angeles family — according to the Los Angeles Times.

Her water bill: $2,200.

But that’s nothing compared to philanthropist and former music and film exec David Geffen. He used 1.6 million gallons of water over two months last summer, or more than 27,000 gallons of water a day. That’s 60 times the average usage and half a million gallons over what officials say he should be using at his compound.

His water bill: in excess of $30,000.

Now Poehler, Geffen and other Beverly Hills water wasters have been sent warning letters, threatening penalty surcharges that could see those bills soar by half or more if they don’t knock it off.

The trouble is, they’re running up the totals amid a punishing drought when others are being asked to conserve. State regulators fined the city last year, saying that its water wasters “should be ashamed.”

The Times story cited a 2014 UCLA study that showed that wealthier neighborhoods typically consume three times more water than less-affluent ones.

“I don’t mean to get the world’s smallest violin out, but you’ve got a constituency that has the means to do aggressive water conservation,” said Bruce Reznik, executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper, a protection and restoration organization. “It’s the lowest hanging fruit to turn off the sprinklers for a couple days. It’s not brain surgery.”

The fines seem to be working. In January, Beverly Hills cut its water usage by 26 percent, more than double from the month before.

That didn’t stop the gossip blog Gawker from snarkily speculating on what uses Poehler could have for all that water. Some of the guesses:

▪ Growing almonds: (1.1 gallons per almond.)

▪ Fracking: (1 million plus gallons.)

▪ Refilling the pool with fresh water on the off-chance today is the day Tina Fey was referring to when she said she’d come by “one of these days.” (About 18,000 gallons)

▪ Ripping up (former husband) Will Arnett’s unsold scripts and flushing each piece individually. (As many as seven gallons per flush.)

Said Gawker: “Truly a mystery for our times.”

James A. Fussell: 816-234-4460, @jamesafussell

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