If you can put aside for the moment the New York Times’ stubborn use of the “farmers use 80% of the water in California” canard*, this article isn’t too bad. It certainly notes the deep class divisions that are taking place in the state. To put it simply: the rich buy their way out of the restrictions and everybody else… can’t.
The fierce drought that is gripping the West — and the imminent prospect of rationing and steep water price increases in California — is sharpening the deep economic divide in this state, illustrating parallel worlds in which wealthy communities guzzle water as poorer neighbors conserve by necessity. The daily water consumption rate was 572.4 gallons per person in Cowan Heights from July through September 2014, the hot and dry summer months California used to calculate community-by-community water rationing orders; it was 63.6 gallons per person in Compton during that same period.