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Woodside’s Menlo Country Club used over 2 million gallons of water/wk!

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The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission released a list of excessive water users, and the Menlo Country Club topped the list, using up to 320,842 gallons of water a DAY in September, enough to supply 7,825 typical San Francisco homes with water. SFGate.com says:

The exclusive, gated club topped a list of excessive irrigation water users released Thursday by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, slurping up 320,842 gallons a day in September — or enough to supply 7,825 typical San Francisco homes with water.

The Chronicle obtained the overuse roster through a public records request. By law, the list includes only those who were ordered, not simply advised, to shrink their water usage. For the San Francisco utility — which sells water throughout the region, not just in the city — that order pertains to about 800 customers with special irrigation accounts for landscaping.

And some of my friends have the nerve to ask me what I have against the very rich….

In 2014, those customers were told to cut their water use by 10% as compared with 2013, and this year, they were told to cut back 25%. The list released on Thursday detailed those who went over their limits in June, August, and September.

Most going over the limits in San Francisco were businesses, nonprofits and public agencies — ranging from UCSF Medical Center to a Safeway in the Marina. There were luxury high-rise apartment towers and the Mercy Housing agency for poverty and affordable housing. Other offenders included Caltrans, the Institute on Aging, the state Department of Parks and even BART’s 24th Street Station.

Few individual homeowners were on the roster, but among them were the late comedian Robin Williams’ former wife, philanthropist Marsha Garces Williams, and former Chevron Corp. Vice Chairman and Director J. Dennis Bonney. They both used a lot of water, though they exceeded their allotments by relatively small amounts.

So who ARE some of these water wasters? SFGate.com says:

UCSF came in No. 1 on the list in June by going a whopping 84,424 gallons a day over its 19,600-gallon limit at its sprawling Mission Bay campus — but that was because of a big water leak that later got fixed.

The Giants baseball team made September’s list by going over its 2,519-gallon daily allotment at a small park it maintains across McCovey Cove from AT&T Park by 1,770 gallons. The overage was blamed on leaks.

But the biggest user of water, by far, was the Menlo Country Club, whose September bill topped $100,000. That month, the club — which sits at the border of Redwood City and Woodside — slopped way over its daily allotment of 254,509 gallons.

A Chronicle reporter was stopped at a security post just beyond the private club’s stately brick sign and entrance off Interstate 280.

General Manager Chris Robinson, who rolled out in a golf cart to speak briefly at the main entrance, said the club maintained a policy of not talking to the media.

Yes, that is another thing about the very rich. They believe themselves to be special and entitled and not bound by the same rules as everyone else.

Sadly, to a very large extent and to the detriment of society, they are correct in this belief.

-Bill at

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