Past Features

May 26, 2015

Dry California
At Each Other's Throats
NPR -- May 26, 2015
In California, Technology Makes Droughtshaming Easier Than Ever
   California's drought is turning neighbor against neighbor, as everyone seems to be on the lookout for water wasters.
    Take Los Angeles resident Jane Demian, for example. She recently got a letter from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Water Conservation Response Unit, about an unverified report of prohibited water use activity at her home in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of L.A. Demian says she was called out for water runoff onto the sidewalk, driveway and gutter, and the unauthorized "washdown of hardscapes" like the walkway to her house.
    But Demian isn't even sure that water waste was hers. "My neighbor next door runs his sprinkler," Demian told NPR. "And then the sprinkler water cascades down the street, ends up on my sidewalk, and waters my sidewalk actually!" [...]
    Just look at Twitter. If you search the social media site for the hashtags #DroughtShame or #DroughtShaming," you'll find hundreds, if not thousands of very public reprimands of water wasters, often with pictures, video, and a lot of addresses. Some tweets are directed right towards Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Others have photos that show the water wasters themselves. Even celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Barbara Streisand have been droughtshamed on Twitter, with aerial shots of their large estates with plush green lawns. A private phone call this is not.