NAMES IN THE NEWS : Biggest Thirsts in San Antonio

From Times Wire Services

Country singer George Strait, San Antonio Spurs owner Red McCombs and former Gov. Dolph Briscoe have the dubious honor of being among the city's top 10 users of water, the City Water Board says.

Water experts said their usage was up to 25 times the 11,220 gallons of water consumed by the average home.

"Oh my gosh, the water use has been much too high," Briscoe said Monday. He was billed an average of 182,512 gallons per month.

Strait lives on 1.12 acres and uses a monthly average of 222,156 gallons. Kay West, a spokeswoman for Strait, had no comment on the report Monday.

McCombs, whose usage was said to average 284,240 gallons a month, said he and the water board have disagreed for more than a year over the meter readings. But, he added, "even if it is half-accurate, it would not be acceptable."

San Antonio and surrounding areas enacted mandatory water-conservation measures earlier this summer after ground water levels dropped dangerously low.

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