Biggest Water Wasters in Southern California

We've been bombarded with it for months -- mandatory restricted watering days, 15-percent cutbacks, replacing once lush lawns with drought resistant foliage. Many Southern California residents are trying to do their part.

But what about those who make and carry out water conservation policy? How are they doing?

Not so well, according to a joint investigation by the NBC4 ITeam and the Center for Investigative Reporting. In fact, we discovered, the top five water wasters in Southern California are also among the top 10 water wasters for the entire state.

Topping the Southern California list is Riverside City Councilmember Mike Soubirous. He used 1 million gallons a year in both 2012 and 2013 and is on his way to doing the same in 2014. Soubirous uses an average of 2,996 gallons of water every day -- about 8.3 times the amount the average Californian uses. 

When the ITeam questioned Soubirous, he seemed surprised that he hit the million-gallon mark and could only blame it on the water he feels is necessary to keep his expansive lawns green.

Here are the Top Five Water Wasters in Southern California:

1. Mike Soubirous, Councilmember, Riverside City Council: 2,996 gallons per day (8.3 times average California user)
2. John Powell, Board President, Coachella Valley Water District: 1,808 gallons per day (5.01 times average California user)
3. Andrew Walcker, Riverside Utilities Boardmember: 1,799 gallons per day (4.98 times average California user)
4. Nick Ferguson, Riverside Utilities Boardmember: 1,791 gallons per day (4.96 times average California user)
5. Peter Nelson, Coachella Valley Water District director: 1,521 gallons per day (4.21 times average California user)

Riverside Utilities Boardmember Andrew Walcker did have a 35 percent decrease from 2012. But he still uses nearly five times the average Californian.

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