An engaged citizenry

San Francisco Chronicle:

‘Sometimes shaming is your best and only option’: Should California scorn people over water use?

Amid a third painfully dry year, the Bay Area’s biggest water retailer began releasing the names of customers using “excessive” amounts of water this week, a practice that may soon tee up hundreds of households for humiliation and shame.

Twitter and YouTube became bastions for scorning heavy water users. Video posts spotlighted obscenely large, green lawns, showpiece swimming pools and even water misters that some people use to cool off, often accompanied with the address of the allegedly wasteful property and the hashtag #droughtshaming.

The Chronicle is not identifying the district’s three recent violators because they are not public figures, though it published a photograph of one of the properties — a large, gated home with a sprawling yard in Orinda.

At least one reader, among many who do not support the practice of drought-shaming, said even a photo like this one goes too far.

“You should take a moment and think of how it would feel for your home to be published and targeted in this context, and how you might feel about the safety of your family and small children in that situation,” the reader wrote.

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