California’s record drought has unleashed a flood of social-media tattletales.
Vigilantes armed with cameraphones prowl neighborhoods from San Diego to San Francisco documenting sprinklers running freely, runoff flowing from saturated lawns and other water-wasters. Sacramento, California’s capital, received almost 12,000 reports of excessive water use in the first six months of this year, up from about 800 in the period last year.
With four-fifths of the state in extreme drought, Californians have been asked to cut consumption by 20 percent. When state officials announced that water use in May instead rose by 1 percent, “drought shaming” took off through social media such as Twitter Inc. (TWTR)’s microblogging platform and VizSafe Inc., a virtual neighborhood watch application.