Celebs Are Being "Drought Shamed" and You Might Be Too

By Dylan Mullins

June 11, 2015

DroughtShamingApp allows users to snap pictures of those disregarding California’s drought policies

Image by DroughtShame/@DroughtShameApp

Lady Gaga, six-time Grammy Award winner, now turned water conservationist? Not only has Gaga gone, well...gaga over the California drought, but other celebrities like Cher are hash tagging along, using Twitter and other media outlets as a platform for “drought-shaming”–publicly calling out those who are wasting water in the middle of a drought.

Whether or not we admit it, celebrities' taste in fashion, food, and hobbies have an effect on us. So when actresses like Julia Roberts and Jennifer Anniston redecorate their mansions’ landscapes with drought-resistant plants, we notice. Actress Wendie Malick, a member on the board of the Environmental Media Association, claims that celebrities have the power to make green cool.

Unfortunately, not all celebrities are on board with saving water.

On May 11, one neighbor called out Sean Penn’s lawn on Twitter for looking too green, and within hours hundreds of angry retweets and comments had been posted. Aerial photographs from the NY Post were released in early May of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s lush lawn, as well as other celebs' not-so-water-efficient homes, like those of Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez. Governor Jerry Brown initially issued fines ranging from $100 to $500 for excessive water use, but the wealthy celebrities weren’t phased. In response, Governor Brown is working to increase fines up to $10,000.

Now there's yet another way to call out celebrities and any other Californians wasting water—the DroughtShame app. This tool allows users to snap pictures of those disregarding California’s drought policies. Local officials can access these pictures through the cloud, and unlike Twitter or Facebook, all posts remain anonymous.

Through the combined power of social media and app technologies, #DroughtShaming could be the most useful water management tactic yet. The relentless exposure is proof that excuses for wasting water are drying up.


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