The prevalence of social media has led to a whole lot of shaming. From fat shaming, to diet shaming, to even bully shaming, just about anything and anyone can be shamed nowadays, even celebrities who waste water in the midst of California’s historic drought.
As California enters its fourth year of a severe drought, #droughtshaming has become an actual thing, and a big one at that. People are taking to social media to call out waterwasting neighbors. Tweets and posts are typically accompanied by photos showing areas of dead, brown grass starkly juxtaposed with the rich, verdant landscaping of expensive estates.
In fact, the government has even gone as far as to ask California residents to help them crack down on water wasters by reporting neighbors who don’t adhere to water conserving restrictions, even if they are celebrities.
A recent New York Post story did just that by depicting the sprawling, lush, green landscaping of massive celebrity homes in Southern California, making the case they were wasting water in order to maintain their property. A-list celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Academy Award winner Barbara Streisand were all called out in a series of #droughtshaming articles that included aerial photographs of their palatial properties.
As a result, Streisand’s rep released a statement saying the singer stands by a recent statement she made in which she had already claimed to reduce her water usage by as much as 50%and is going to take further steps to conserve water. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Last month, Beverly Hills approved water conserving limits for watering lawns, car washing, and refilling pools. Water wasters who don’t abide by newly approved limits face hefty fines of up to $1,000. Similarly, Newport Beach officials also imposed firm water conserving restrictions, including limited landscape watering between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. In landscaping, a big mistake people often make is not watering enough, but in order for Californians to conserve water they should at least think about a drip irrigation system attached to a timer to reduce usage.
Ironically, it seems the drive to conserve water through #droughtshaming isn’t just a fad. A statewide survey published in March revealed that 66% of Californians feel their neighbors aren’t doing enough to reduce their water usage, according to a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. Furthermore, 23% of Californians feel it is the most pressing issue the state is currently facing.