The American Southeast has been suffering from one of its worst droughts in years. But you wouldn't know it from looking at the emerald-green estates of Palm Beach.
There, despite water restrictions and low reservoirs, lush lawns and verdant hedges line the Florida island's biggest mansions, awaiting the start of the annual winter "season" after Thanksgiving.
To keep their thirsty estates running over the summer and fall, Palm Beachers have been more than willing to pay water surcharges and even fines. And many have found a loophole in the local water rules, allowing them to spritz more often if they pay up to plant new lawns and shrubs.
Consider Nelson Peltz. The investor and food magnate's oceanfront estate, called Montsorrel, is among the island's biggest water consumers. His 13.8-acre spread, which combines two properties, used not quite 21 million gallons of water over the past 12 months -- or about 57,000 gallons a day on average -- at a cost of more than $50,000, according to records obtained from the local water utility. That compares with 54,000 gallons a year for an average single-family residence in Palm Beach, says Ken Rearden, assistant city administrator of West Palm Beach. (West Palm Beach supplies Palm Beach's water.)
This level of thirst is a variation on the epic levels of me-first corruption and greed we've been witnessing in the USA for years now.
It is really necessary to add that Peltz gave $25,000 to the RNC?