LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Despite calls for Angelenos to slash their water use during the statewide drought, the Los Angeles mayoral mansion consumes about five times the water of an average home, according to reports.
Getty House, the official residence of Mayor Eric Garcetti, uses about 2,100 gallons of water per day, according to data cited by the L.A. Weekly.
While the number is about 3 percent less than the amount used by Garcetti's predecessor, former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, it could raise questions about Garcetti's call for Angelenos to cut their own water use by 20 percent by 2016.
KNX 1070's Jon Baird reports Garcetti has taken steps to make the lawn outside the Hancock Park mansion more drought-friendly, including replacing turf and upgrading the irrigation system.
But with a reported water use rate of about 5.4 times greater than the roughly 390 gallons used by the average L.A. household, Getty House still uses more water than some comparable homes in upscale neighborhoods such as Pacific Palisades.
During an appearance Friday at the Department of Water & Power, Garcetti said even though it serves as the mayor's residence, Getty House is a public building where an estimated 50 public events take place every year.
"It functions as an event space, a living museum and offices. We happen to live upstairs," he said. "We had 4,000-plus people who went through that house just last year alone," he said.
Garcetti added, "Whether a mayor lives there or not, that is a public space. The entire property is not a quote-unquote 'home.'"
Garcetti also told reporters he and wife Amy insisted that the big water-guzzling patches of grass be ripped out of the parkway in front of Getty House and replaced with bark and drought-tolerant plants.
"I think it's probably unfair to talk about as if our family is consuming that amount of water. It isn't anywhere, anywhere close to that. And I'm confident that we personally are hitting our goal but the water meter doesn't discriminate between the residential use and the office, public event space and all of the rest of that," Garcetti said.
Under a directive issued by Garcetti last month, city departments have been ordered to sharply cut water use by reducing watering and replacing lawns or other water-intensive landscaping at city facilities, street medians and sidewalk parkways.
The Mayor's office is also offering Angelenos a $100 rebate to buy their own rain barrels to collect rainwater that falls on the roofs of houses to be used for watering plants and irrigating gardens or lawns.
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