[F]aced with apparent indifference to stern warnings from state leaders and media alarms, cities across California have encouraged residents to tattle on their neighbors for wasting water — and the residents have responded in droves. Sacramento, for instance, has received more than 6,000 reports of water waste this year, up twentyfold from last year.
Some drought-conscious Californians have turned not only to tattling, but also to an age-old strategy to persuade friends and neighbors to cut back: shaming. On Twitter, radio shows and elsewhere, Californians are indulging in such sports as shower-shaming (trying to embarrass a neighbor or relative who takes a leisurely wash), car-wash-shaming and lawn-shaming.
Conversations with vendors at the local farmers’ markets always touch on the drought and how it’s affecting them and neighboring farms. Some of the stories are just crushing, so driving home past thick, verdant lawns, or seeing pools of water covering the sidewalk after overwatering grates more and more.