Reposted from Reuters (4/23/15)

Beverly Hills, the southern California city renowned for Hollywood-tinged glamour and luxury, approved stricter water restrictions on Tuesday, including bans on filling new swimming pools and $1,000 fines for water violations.

Faced with an order from the governor to cut water use dramatically as the state reels from a three-year drought, the five-member city council approved the measures at the end of a three-hour afternoon meeting.

Beverly Hills is one of the nation’s most affluent cities, with palm tree-lined avenues and mansions surrounded by emerald-green lawns, fountains and pools.

California’s upscale communities have been criticized for using more water than working-class cities and towns as the state grapples with a devastating drought that has already forced tough new conservation measures and badly depleted reservoirs.

“We have these large properties and we’re known as a garden city,” Beverly Hills spokeswoman Therese Kosterman said. “One of our challenges is to redefine what garden city should look like and we’re hoping that the measures the city council adopts today will get us moving in the right direction.”


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