California’s Water Wasters

Tucked into the Santa Monica Mountains, the average home here goes for around $1.8 million, the gardens are bursting with pansies fit for rainy England, and hefty fines have done little to restrain many homeowners from squandering water in a time of drought.

This week came a measure of last resort. The local water agency began choking the taps of the worst offenders, limiting the water flow of those who flouted water conservation rules, paid the fines, and kept on flouting. Their showers will henceforth slow to a trickle. Sprinklers will be rendered unusable. Good luck refilling the pool. Or the koi pond.