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Water Board Report: Small OC Town Using More Water Per Day Than Beverly Hills

COWAN HEIGHTS ( — As the state, ever drought-weary, continues to crack down on water-abusing communities, a neighborhood in Orange County has been exposed as having used more water per person and per home than any other community in either Los Angeles or Orange counties.

The neighborhood of Cowan Heights sits north of Tustin, and numbers analyzed from the state water board say the community there is using up double the amount of water Beverly Hills is currently using.

The report suggests that the neighborhood is using up to 340 gallons per person, per day.

The state's new goal, part of Governor Jerry Brown's initiative to reduce water wasting as the historic drought continues to drain California, is approximately 100 gallons.

"I was really surprised, and I talked to several people, and we were all dumbfounded to find out we were such, relatively speaking, big water users," Cowan Heights resident Chuck Richmond said.

Richmond, who has lived in Cowan Heights for 30 years, says he and other neighbors have been trying to conserve water. However, he suggests the large water usage may be due to the large lots in the area, where some houses sit on at least an acre of land.

"I turned off the sprinklers for weeks at a time," Richmond said. "I just don't water at all."

The Golden State Water Company, which supplies water to the Cowan Heights area, says residents actually used less water in 2014 than they had in 2013. The company released a statement, reading, "Golden State Water Company will continue working closely with the communities we serve to ensure they are aware of all regulations and are making informed water-use decisions to meet the approved reduction goals."

Residents, meanwhile, say they will continue to motivate neighbors to conserve water.

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