Drought Shaming Is Happening In California

June 15th 2015

Neighbors in California are calling out water wasters on social media using the hashtag #DroughtShaming as the severe drought drags on.

In April, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced the state's first ever mandatory drought restrictions, ordering towns and cities to cut their water use by 25 percent, but not all cities have made the required changes. For many communities, a long-standing class divide is becoming very apparent. On one hand, environmental advocates and local governments are asking for everyone to cut down their water usage to certain levels. But others, particularly wealthier communities, have been slower to make the changes with some arguing that if you pay for it, then you should be able to use as much water as you like.

Rancho Santa Fe, for instance, is known for its ranches and country clubs groomed for golfing. Despite the persistent drought, that city's water usage increased by 9 percent even after the governor's drought restrictions in April. (More restrictions are coming in July.)

Steve Yuhas lives in the ultra-rich area and told the Washington Post that he should have water if he pays for it:

"We pay significant property taxes based on where we live. And, no, we're not all equal when it comes to water."

This led to some hashtag shaming.

For people who avoid calls to conserve, there's a hashtag movement attempting to shame them. Tony Corcoran, for instance, is taking drought shaming matters into his own hands. He posts videos on YouTube giving addresses that waste water in the Beverly Hills and West Hollywood area.

Here are several tweets that capture #DroughtShaming and the growing water conflict between rich and poor in California neighborhoods:

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