Funny Business with Jane Wells

Lady Gaga 'Water Boards' California


Lady Gaga found out we have a huge drought in California while she was out here doing a music video near the humongous swimming pool at Hearst Castle.

Now she wants to Water Board you. She's working with state water boards to urge Californians to conserve.

The resulting marriage of hot fame and dry earth is, well, a bad romance.

Lady Gaga is seen in New York.
DVT | Star Max | GC Images | Getty Images

This week, California issued new rules banning some uses of potable water, which can lead to $500 fines if violated. You can't run sprinklers so long that water begins running down the sidewalk. You can't wash your car with a hose that doesn't have a nozzle shutoff. Local water agencies can be fined $10,000 a day if they don't come up with their own plans for cutbacks.

This move by the State Water Resources Control Board is unprecedented, which is pretty amazing considering California seems to be in a permanent state of drought.

Yet despite the constant hounding by the governor to conserve, water still miraculously flows every time we turn on the faucet or flush the toilet. So people haven't really cut back. Hence the new rules. In fact, Gov. Jerry Brown said water usage in California rose 1 percent in three years. However, I would point out the population has grown 2 percent in that time, so on a per capita basis, we're using less. Details!

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A new report also suggests the drought could last at least until next year, with or without an El Nino bringing rain. So while the rules are the stick, water bureaucrats went looking for a carrot, a celebrity to wake us up to the peril at hand.

Enter Gaga, a New Yorker, who shot a public service announcement for Save Our Water. (A quick aside: Save Our Water is a partnership of local water agencies and the California Department of Water Resources, which is not the same as the State Water Resources Control Board, the board that came up with the new rules. Yes, there are at least two state-level boards, which tells you a lot about California.)

The 17-second PSA starring Gaga looks like it was shot in a closet with a microphone placed somewhere on Mars, perhaps the truest proof yet that the entertainment industry has fled California faster than the water.

Pot draining California water supplies

"I had the honor of shooting my music video at California landmark Hearst Castle," Gaga begins with a stilted delivery topped only by awkward writing. "And while I was there, I learned of the necessity of water conservation during this drought." We see photos of the drought's effects, none of which appear to be around Hearst Castle. Among the images is one of a dead corn stalk. We don't grow much corn in California, so I'm assuming this was a stock photo from the great Midwest drought of 2012.

The superstar singer then encourages everyone to conserve water. A fine sentiment, but ... lame. I mean, her heart is in the right place, but, well, it's lame. Unfortunately, it may be another symptom that Gaga is losing a bit of her Midas touch. She's losing Twitter followers, Facebook friends and sales of her last album showed a precipitous decline.

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California couldn't find someone famous who actually lives here? What water-hogging "little monsters" is the PSA aiming for? Marijuana farmers?

I know, I know, I'm a jerk. Lady Gaga is just trying to tell us to preserve a precious resource, and why am I such a hater, what have I ever done, blah blah blah blah blah zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

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Like a lot of people in this state, I've cut back on water usage. I've landscaped with drought tolerant plants and replaced grass with hardscape. But I still have a little patch of lawn, and I still have my swimming pool, and I still take 10-minute hot showers. I'm willing to do more ... but don't touch my showers, Gaga. I can't live without a firehose blast of blazing hot water. It may sound weird, but I was born this way.

—By CNBC's Jane Wells. Follow her on Twitter: @janewells