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L.A. County Politicians Wash Their Cars Twice A Week Despite Drought

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Working at the car wash (Photo by Atwater Village Newbie via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Maintaining a spotless Chrysler totally trumps water conservation during a massive drought, at least according to some L.A. County officials.While many of us have cut back on car washes these days to conserve water—or out of laziness—the majority of the county's Board of Supervisors have continued to wash their take-home cars 2 to 3 times a week, reports L.A. Daily News. And rather than be deterred by any drought-shaming, according to service records they actually washed them more frequently after Governor Brown ordered local agencies to reduce water use by 25 percent. While most of the supervisors seem unfazed by the drought, other many other local governments and agencies have pledged to reduce washes or use recirculated water. But we couldn't have our supervisors driving around in dusty town cars, could we?

The biggest offender of Carwash-gate seems to be Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas who had his luxe Chrysler sedan washed 2.7 times per week on average during 2014. After Gov. Brown issued the water-restriction mandate, he upped his average to 3.1 washes. And that's just one of his two cars. His other, newer Chrysler also got a wash 2.9 times per week on average.

Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Don Knabe are also big on keeping up appearances, washing their big old SUVs about twice a week back when Brown had merely issued a state of emergency for the drought at the beginning of 2014. When the governor issued his mandate in April, the two supervisors had their rides washed even more often.

Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis, the board's newest supervisors, have actually cut back slightly since the mandate. Though they still get a wash about once per week.

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While the supervisors are keeping their rides pretty spotless, many city officials have pledged to take a break from washes for two months. Officials from Burbank, Santa Monica, San Gabriel, Malibu and Long Beach have all joined 15,000 people in taking the "Dirty Car Pledge," organized by the conservation group LA Waterkeeper. And in L.A., the Police Department and Bureau of Sanitation have also reduced washing and the city is considering converting to recirculated water.

Standard car washes with conveyors typically use 80 to 100 gallons of water, which is about the same as the average American's daily water use, the Daily News reports. Roughly one third of the carwashes in L.A. use recirculated water, which can significantly cut down on the amount of water used.

Top county officials can either receive a car allowance or have the county buy them a vehicle, which will be washed and fueled with tax dollars, according to the Daily News.

UPDATE: Following all of the drought-shaming directed at the L.A. County Supervisors, county officials have announced that the supervisors will be limited to one car wash per week, according to the L.A. Daily News.