The media has been gleefully enraged about the story of Tom Selleck trucking water from a fire hydrant to water his avocados. It’s the perfect confirmation of what people fear in a time of shortage: that the biggest, wealthiest water users will act as if the rules don’t apply to them.
But a farmer from Selleck’s area of southern California tells me that what happened in this case was probably a water district transfer violation, rather than water theft — meaning Selleck probably paid for that water. Here’s his note:
Many companies have arrangements to draw water from public hydrants … you see it all the time around construction sites. I can’t speak to whether the people drawing water for Selleck from a hydrant within the city limits of Thousand Oaks have a proper agreement with that city … but the legal action from the Calleguas Mutual Water District isn’t about whether he “stole” water ……
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