Water-conservation tools: Shame, higher prices

Photo retrieved from: www.ocregister.com

“The water ninjas are prowling the streets. Mocking. Undercover. Often anonymous. They are watching you, snapping pictures of your wastefulness with their cellphones, then uploading the evidence for all the world – and your newly empowered local water agency – to see.

“Congratulations for watering the pavement,” sneered one self-appointed water warrior in Costa Mesa, posting a photo online of runoff pooling curbside off Parsons Street.

“Shame on you USC!! We are in a flipping 100-year drought! Use a damn broom!” scolded Jenna Cavelle, capturing a worker in rubber boots power-hosing a campus sidewalk.

A. Duran’s shot depicts a bald man in dark sunglasses soaking his roses in East Los Angeles. “This guy has been doing this daily since the drought began,” Duran chided.

Public shaming has become a tool of choice for resident watchdogs on sites such as neighborhood-watch app VizSAFE (“drought channel”), H2O Tracker (“report water waste”) and, of course, Twitter (#droughtshaming, #watershaming, #waterwaste, etc.), as California’s historic drought takes a dark, dusty turn.

Be warned: You may well end up paying more for your water, even as you use less of it. More on that in a minute.

CRACKING DOWN

Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown beseeched Californians to reduce water use by 20 percent. The State Water Resources Board put some muscle behind that last month, embracing emergency regulations making water waste a crime and empowering local agencies to prosecute offenders and fine them up to $500 a day.

That means no hosing down sidewalks and driveways. No landscape watering that dribbles into the street. No washing cars unless there’s a shut-off nozzle on the hose. No fresh water splashing in pretty fountains unless the fountains recirculate the water.”

Read more: OC Register

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