The Washington Post reports from the frontline of California’s Water War:
Drought or no drought, Steve Yuhas resents the idea that it is somehow shameful to be a water hog. If you can pay for it, he argues, you should get your water.
People “should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful,” Yuhas fumed recently on social media. “We pay significant property taxes based on where we live,” he added in an interview. “And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water.”
Yuhas lives in the ultra-wealthy enclave of Rancho Santa Fe, a bucolic Southern California hamlet of ranches, gated communities and country clubs that guzzles five times more water per capita than the statewide average. In April, after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called for a 25 percent reduction in water use, consumption in Rancho Santa Fe went up by 9 percent.
Let them drink Evian.
Yuhas has a point of course — why can’t he get the water he’s willing to pay for? And yet on July 1, less than two weeks from now, Yuhas and his wealthy neighbors will be subject to strict water rationing.
Here’s how it will work:
Under the new rules, each household will be assigned an essential allotment for basic indoor needs. Any additional usage — sprinklers, fountains, swimming pools — must be slashed by nearly half for the district to meet state-mandated targets.
Residents who exceed their allotment could see their already sky-high water bills triple. And for ultra-wealthy customers undeterred by financial penalties, the district reserves the right to install flow restrictors — quarter-size disks that make it difficult to, say, shower and do a load of laundry at the same time.
In extreme cases, the district could shut off the tap altogether.
Rancho Santa Fe is overwhelmingly Republican, but Wikipedia reports that it gives most of its political donations to Democrats. Maybe that isn’t too surprising given that California is effectively a one-party state, so if you want any voice at all, you’d better learn to pay-to-play with the Democrats. The residents of Rancho Santa Fe, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in America, can certainly afford to pay.
So why not let them pay for the water they want to use?
Because Lifeboat Rules, that’s why. People can’t live without water, and California — for political reasons, not natural ones — doesn’t have enough water for everyone to drink. This is classic statist politics, by the way — create a massive shortage of some vital commodity by either incompetence or design, and then play favorites doling it out.
And of course the Republican residents of Rancho Santa Fe are hardly favorites in Sacramento. They might give generously to Democrats and their causes, but the class politics are simply too …rich… for any good Democrat to pass up.
My advice to Steve Yuhas and his neighbors is simple: Get out — and bring your money, your jobs, and your property tax dollars with you. Sure, you might take a loss trying to sell your home in this market, but you can buy a lot more home for the same money down in Texas, or here in Colorado.
Let California’s Democrats continue to despise you — from afar. Don’t give to their candidates, don’t provide jobs for their voters, don’t pay for their hair-brained train schemes, don’t support their useless schools.
Let Sacramento drink the Evian — if they can still afford it.