Because of public information requests from the media, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) continues to publish lists of their biggest water wasters since they began penalizing customers for overuse in July. And they are, not surprisingly, concentrated in the wealthy, lawn-covered suburbs of Alamo, Diablo, Lafayette, and Danville the latter being the home of Billy Beane, who was also recently drought-shamed via EBMUD.
As CBS 5 reports, among the customers who have been sucking up well over their fair share of water are one Diablo man by the name of Kumarakulasingam Suriyakumar, a Sri Lankan entrepreneur who's been using over 9,600 gallons a day refilling his hot tub and watering his azaleas (he has a 20-acre property at the foot of Mount Diablo, so, lots of azaleas). To put that in perspective, Beane was only dinged for using 6,000 gallons a day in a previous report, and EBMUD has only been charging penalties for people who use over 1,000 gallons a day.
Also high on the list was Steven Burd, a former president and CEO of Safeway, who's been sucking up 7,255 gallons a day at his Alamo home.
And we see you, Frank Worner of Lafayette, and your 6,645 gallons a day. Way to be a team player.
It should be noted that Alamo, a community of 15,000 people sandwiched between Walnut Creek and Danville, ranked highest for its concentration of water wasters. As KQED reports, 480 customers in Alamo were billed for excessive water usage, accounting for nearly half of all the excessive users in the entire water district.
In Oakland, by contrast, a city of 400,000 people (27 times the size of Alamo), there were only 80 water-users dinged for overuse, or 0.02%.
EBMUD spokesperson Abby Figueroa says they're sorry they have to keep making these names public, but it's the law. "We’re protective of our customers’ information,” she says. “We don’t believe drought shaming is the way to go."
Meanwhile, Southern California has gotten the most fails in the effort to conserve water, and this is given the fact that they have higher concentrations of entitled rich people crowded into hotter, drier towns down there. Also, the Coachella Valley, which is a desert, has over 100 golf courses. Think about that.