Lady Gaga: The new face of California’s drought

The pop singer is becoming a spokeswoman for water conservation

Topics: drought, California, Lady Gaga, Water Shortage, ,

Lady Gaga: The new face of California's droughtLady Gaga speaks during a press conference to promote her CD "Artpop" in Tokyo, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

California’s devastating mega-drought has a new celebrity spokeswoman. Lady Gaga,  the L.A. Times reports, will soon be taking to the airwaves to urge Californians to conserve water.

The unlikely gig came up when Gaga requested to shoot her newest music video in the Hearst Castle’s iconic Neptune Pool, which, due to the fact that it had been leaking up to 5,000 gallons of water per day, has been drained since February. But the crippling water shortage wasn’t enough to stop her:

So park officials and the singer came up with a plan. Gaga would pay for water to be pumped from an on-site irrigation storage facility to fill the cracked pool, which was leaking up to 5,000 gallons of water per day.

The water will be returned after the photo shoot, officials said, and the cost of the transfer will be picked up by Gaga.

The singer, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, will donate $250,000 to the Hearst Castle Foundation, part of which will be used to repair the pool, in addition to the standard $22,000 fee for filming at the estate. She is also paying $25,000 for a water supply study in Cambria, according to a statement from the foundation.

As part of the deal, Gaga also filmed a public service announcement promoting water conservation, and she spread the message to her 41 million Twitter followers and elsewhere on social media.



President Obama was also in California today where, apart from announcing his new $1 billion Climate Resiliency Fund, he promised to make $100 million available in aid for farmers who lost livestock in the drought, along with another $15 million to help farmers and ranchers implement water conservation practices.

But only Lady Gaga got a thank you note personally signed by Calif. governor Jerry Brown.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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