Social technologies are making it easier for Californians to call out those they deem to be water wasters. Twitter hashtags such as #DroughtShame or #DroughtShaming not only verbally reprimand water wasters, but often contain pictures, video…and addresses. Mobile apps are also being used. A new app – DroughtShameApp – was specifically developed to facilitate citizen reporting; it enables users to upload geo-located photos and addresses. Some municipalities have their own reporting systems in place.

Los Angeles resident Jane Demian was one of those called out. Sam Sanders (@sansanders) reports for NPR:


The ordeal has left [Jane]  Demian emotional. “I’m just shocked actually, paranoid, and a little squeamish now about even watering at all,” she said. “I can’t really trust people anymore. So I wonder now, who was it, who turned me in?!”


The data from private apps doesn’t sync with data collected by public agencies. And a note to those using an “unofficial” app or technology to report water wasters: the information may not be getting to the right people or agency. Some agencies don’t monitor social technologies, and others only respond when they are specifically tagged.

An interesting read about the way that technology – and drought – are changing life in California.


Related Links:

Drought watch: a rogue’s gallery of water guzzlers

Q & A: UC’s Doug Parker on California’s drought

Before we can address the drought, we need a geography lesson

The art and science of waiting