Eat the Overly-Hydrated Rich: The Pool Owners Behind the Water Crisis
In recent years, Kim Kardashian, Kevin Hart and Sylvester Stallone have each found themselves in hot water — and lukewarm and cold water too — for being among the wealthiest celebrities most guilty of water waste. Amidst a statewide drought in California, this is an offense so egregious it would make you want to pee in their pools out of vengeance — if you weren’t so dehydrated.
As a new study points out, elites with private pools and elaborate lawns contribute to water shortages all over the world, leaving approximately one in 10 people without basic access to clean water. You know, that liquid that makes up 60 percent of our bodies.
Specifically, researchers found that while “elite and upper-middle-income groups” make up only about 14 percent of Cape Town’s population, they use more than half of the water consumed by the entire city. On the other hand, poorer households made up 62 percent of the city’s populace and only consumed 27 percent of the water.
“Climate change and population growth mean that water is becoming a more precious resource in big cities, but we have shown that social inequality is the biggest problem for poorer people getting access to water for their everyday needs,” concluded Hannah Cloke, a hydrologist at the University of Reading who co-authored the study.
In other words, there are a lot of things that are harmful to the environment, but few of them are as destructive as a thirsty aristocrat with a perfectly manicured lawn and sky-blue pool.