New App Allows Neighbors to Tattletale on Water Wasters in Cali

By: Laura Meyers

In the wake of California’s four-year long drought, the Placer County Water Agency has created two new smart phone apps to help citizens track and report wasteful water usage.

One is a shower timer, which converts time in shower to gallons of water used. The second allows people to tattletale on their neighboring, evil water wasters. It’s like middle school all over again.

“Customers can take pictures of water wasters, send it to us. It’ll include two GPS locations so we can follow-up,” said Ross Branch of the Placer County Water Agency.

PCWA says the app “puts more boots on the ground in an effort to spot water waste and to stop it.”

“I think the main takeaway is that people are starting to listen to the message.  They’re picking up that they can only water two days a week and they’re adjusting their watering times,” said William Granger. 

Granger is the City Conservation Coordinator, and he’s encouraging people to report their neighbor’s water usage.

“They can use either their iPhone or Android and report it.  Take a picture.  The more details the better and the more likely we’ll be able to do something about it,” said Granger.

There is another similar app that was created by a private company, called Vizsafe.

This app, however, has another feature that allows users to map photos of water wasters- a practice known as “drought shaming” on Twitter and Instagram.

Man, can’t a guy just water his lawn without being publicly humiliated?

The answer is no. Particularly in one case in Long Beach, where Sherry Ray-Von snitched on her neighbor for washing his car everyday.

Ray-von says she tried to discuss the matter with the man, but he shrugged her off.

When the city released the app, she thought, “This is great. This is my chance to get this guy.”

She said she snapped a pic of the waste, and sent it to the water department. A few days later, she says, the car-washing stopped.

You know what kind of girl she was in high school.

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