Californians parched by an aggressive and persistent drought learned Thursday that their pain is not shared equally by all their neighbors.
In fact, according to data compiled by the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) and shared with this site, there are some among us for whom the idea of showering with a bucket or saving grey water for their gardens may be regarded merely as a quaint, fleeting thought.
As you might expect, many of these “soakers” are both well off and well known and the retort “I pay for it, I’ll use it…” seems to be a standard response.
Topping the list is retired Big Oil executive George Kirkland, who burns through 12,579 gallons of water per day according to EBMUD – about 50 times the district average and waaaay out of sight for normal households using less than 250 gallons of precious aqua pura per day.
Kirkland told the Contra Costa Times that his excess was due to a leak in the drip system he uses to irrigate his vineyard.
Soakers on the EBMUD list have been slapped with penalties for excessive use, according to the utilities district, but many argue the fines merely roll off the wealthy like, well, water of a duck’s back.
EBMUD has set out to beat a state mandate to cut water use in the water district by 16 percent, instead seeking a 20 percent cut in water use and saving as much as 30 percent in some months – but some still appear to be using as much as they please.
More names are expected to be added to the list of excessive water users, EBMUD has said, as the district’s billing cycle rolls through its normal two-month period. All those appearing on the list released Thursday were admonished that they would be penalized if they exceeded the 1,000-gallon daily limit.
- George Kirkland, Danville —- 12,578.87 Gallons Per Day
- Mark Pine, Alamo —- 8,090.87
- William Beane, Danville —- 5,996.47
- Dane Bigham, Walnut Creek – 5,747.13
- Gene Yee, San Leandro —- 5,659.87
- Gurpreet Sangha, Danville — 4,924.33
- Gregory Pickett, Alamo —- 4,911.87
- Dennis Baca, Danville —- 4,874.47
- Lisa Chorbajian, Danville —- 4,512.93
- Nora Cregan, Piedmont —- 4,363.33
- Derek Benham, Piedmont —- 3,939.47
- Michael Rubinstein, Orinda —- 3,864.67
- Stephanie Sposeto, Danville — 3,802.33
- Christopher Pulver, Alamo — 3,640.27
- Holly Blessing, Danville —- 3,615.33
- Fred Wilson, Alamo —- 3,602.87
- William Pastina, San Leandro —3,602.87
- Bimal Patel Md, Lafayette —-3,590.40
- William Thompson, Orinda —- 3,577.93
- Russ Stewart, Alamo —- 3,540.53
- Doris Kirk, San Leandro —- 3,428.33
- Sally Sakuma, Danville —- 3,378.47
- Sharda Metha, Orinda —- 3,303.67