If there is one universal truth that 90s-era television has taught us, that would unequivocally be that being a high schooler in Beverly Hills isn't just about Dr. Martens and La Croix jacuzzis with Luke Perry. It's also taught us some serious lessons, like how to maintain your killer bangs and why it is that people named Kelly tend to have a shitload of drama in their lives.
So you can understand our shock and dismay when we learned that the city of Beverly Hills took absolutely none of the sage lessons learned from Beverly Hills 90210 and applied them to real-life Beverly Hills. That failure has to be the only explanation for why the affluent city was just fined for flagrantly disobeying California's water conservation rules.
The Los Angeles area municipality was just named by California officials as being one of only four cities in the state not adequately ensuring that its residents conserve water during the ongoing statewide drought. Hell, out of those four cities to be fined, Beverly Hills is the only one not located in an actual goddamned desert!
Accordingly, the California State Water Resources Board is fining Beverly Hills just $61,000, which is a drop in the bucket for a city that holds a mean household income of around $395,734.
"Some urban water suppliers simply have not met the requirements laid before them," stated director of the water board's Office of Enforcement, Cris Carrigan. "For these … suppliers, it's been too little, too late." Carrigan went on to say, "For those who aren't [conserving] and who are wasting water, you should be ashamed of yourselves."
This recent revelation goes against Democratic Governor Jerry Brown's and the California State Water Resources Board's mandate to cut water usage statewide by 25 percent from 2013 levels. The rest of the state—besides the four cities that were fined—has made that goal for four continuous months. In fact, the Board's Chairwoman, Felicia Marcus, told press that 253 billion gallons of water were saved from June through August alone.
But in Beverly Hills? Not so much. Evidently fines and drought-shaming have little effect when one's bright green lawn is in jeopardy.
So, how much excess water usage in glamorous Beverly Hills are we actually talking about? Well, residents of the manicured LA neighborhood used an average of 169 gallons of water per person during the month of September. That's a far cry from the average of 69 gallons used per person in the rest of LA, which brings to mind the following question: "Just how much water does it actually take to clean one's Fabergé egg collection?"
We may never know, but at least we do know that the city of Beverly Hills has wasted 175 million gallons of water since June, according to Carrigan. Which is exactly why many Californians are concerned that the $61,000 fine is far too low.
Take, for example, Beverly Hills resident Richard Greene, who claims the fine is far below a figure that the wealthy residents of Beverly Hills would even bat an eye at. "Wow, ouch… It actually seems to minimize the importance of water conservation when you're fining the wealthiest municipality $61,000, which is pocket change for most of the people you see walking up and down this street," stated Greene.
Cheryl Friedling, a spokeswoman for Beverly Hills, claimed in an email to Reuters that the city was very concerned with not meeting the statewide conservation mandate and that they would be implementing a program to fine offenders. Too bad it doesn't go into effect until later this month, as opposed to back in May, when the new regulations were actually enacted.
Sigh. If only there were some sort of wisecracking Beverly Hills policeman to set things straight. Sure, hijinks would ensue, but he'd get the job done, dammit. And you best believe Judge Reinhold would be there too.