Californians Are Now Shaming Their Water-Wasting Neighbors on Social Media

The campaign started with a hashtag #DroughtShaming.

ByABC News
July 29, 2014, 1:00 PM

— -- Trapped in scorching heat and facing the state’s worst drought in nearly four decades, some angry Californians are now venting about their water-wasting neighbors on social media.

And they're suing the hashtag #DroughtShaming to do it!

Residents now face up to a $500 fine for washing down driveways and sidewalks, watering lawns and other landscapes or turning on outdoor fountains for the next 270 days, according to a penalty imposed by the California Water Resources Control Board.

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However, even with the threat of a penalty, some residents are still turning their hoses on, watering their lawn and driveways generously.

Some neighbors can’t take it anymore. They are taking this drought shaming campaign to social media.

In California, brown is the new green for lawns. A gym, Almaden Valley Athletic Club, even started using spray paint on brown grass to make it look green.

“We have been having a drought for three years and now we are entering the fourth year,” Felicia Marcus, Chair at the California State Water Resources Control Board, told ABC News. “We can’t just depend on the hopes that we will get precipitation.”

“The easiest way to conserve water is to restrict outdoor watering,” Marcus said.

Marcus said she is aware of the social media campaign, although the Control Board is not actively monitoring Twitter.

“We appreciate the fact that residents are engaged,” Marcus said. “They can talk to their neighbors. If they don’t feel like their neighbors are listening, they should let the local water board know.”