Water officials not following own call for conservation

Do as I say, not as I do.

That apparently is the approach from a number of the state’s top water officials, who have been accused of not practicing what they preach when it comes to conservation.

The Center for Investigative Reporting took a look at elected officials who have passed tough new water rules for their constituents, but are not saving water at home. The story begins with the story of one Riverside Councilman Mike Soubirous, who the site called “a prodigious water user, pumping more than 1 million gallons per year at his lushly landscaped home on a hot, windy Southern California hilltop.

As a member of the Riverside City Council, however, he voted to impose tough new water conservation rules for Riverside residents.

Do I have to sell my house to set that example, or do I have to just abolish all my shrubs?” Soubirous said in an interview with CIR. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how I can reduce my water rate.”

That hasn’t stopped him and the council from imposing restrictions on others.

He is not alone.

Water bills obtained via the state’s Public Records Act show that in 2013, nearly half of the officials who supervise the state’s biggest water agencies used more water than the typical California household,” CIR reported.

“And water officials tended not to cut back as the drought persisted. Even as their agencies scolded ratepayers on conservation, 60 percent of these officials used more water in 2013 than they had in 2012, records show.”

Read the entire story here.