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Social Media ‘Drought Shaming’ Becomes Newest Way Aid Water Conservation

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A sprinkler waters a lawn in the Bay Area. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A sprinkler waters a lawn in the Bay Area. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5 ) – Neighborhood ‘water cops’ have a new tool in fight to force others to save water – shame.

People have begun using the #droughtshaming to tweet about neighbors using too much water. Private citizens, businesses and government agencies have all been targeted by the tweets.

But now the trend goes even farther. As the saying goes, there’s an app for that, and it’s called Vizsafe. The crowdsourced security tool has been enhanced with a function specific to drought shaming. The site allows you to take pictures of your neighbors or businesses wasting water anonymously.

CBS News reports that a hotline to report water wasters is also flooded with calls. So far this year, the number of complaints to the Sacramento Department of Utilities has skyrocketed to more than 10,000, up from about 700 at the same time last year.

Updated results of a water-use survey showed overall consumption in California increased one percent in 2014, despite pleas from Gov. Jerry Brown for residents and businesses to voluntarily cut back use by 20 percent.

The State Water Resources Control Board voted earlier this month to impose fines of up to $500 a day to businesses and individuals for wasting water on landscaping, washing cars without a shut-off nozzle or other outdoor uses.

 

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