Sunday, October 26, 2008

7 Tours? Ya, He Needs a Drink!

Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong may have retired from professional cycling three years ago, but he's apparently still pretty good at winning things. Take, for instance, his water usage, where in his hometown of Austin, Texas, Armstrong wears the yellow jersey ahead of 743,000 other residents.

In July, Armstrong's 1.1-acre Spanish-colonial estate and home (seen above in all it's green lushness) used an amazing 330,000 gallons of water. That's about 38 times what the average Austin household uses in the summer. Armstrong's July tab for keeping those gardens growing, toilets flushing and pool full: a hefty $2,460.

Given the recent scarcity of rainfall and mandatory water restrictions imposed by the city, Austin officials would prefer that their most famous resident practice a little conservation. "We are definitely short on rain," Lisa Rhodes, a spokeswoman for the city water authority, said with a sigh, according to the New York Times.

Armstrong, to his credit, sounded embarrassed by last week's story, which according to water records, is hardly an aberration. Armstrong used more than 222,000 gallons in June. "I'm a little shocked," he said when informed that his estate had become Waterworld. "There's no justification for using that much water ... I have no interest in being the top water user in Austin, Texas."

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