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Drought Shaming: California's New Trend of Exposing Water Wasters

In a drought-style neighborhood watch program, Californians are tattling on water-wasting neighbors through social media.

While celebrities may be under attack for their lush lawns, suburban homes and local businesses are facing their own backlash. Using #droughtshaming, strangers have been snapping pictures of freshly watered lawns, decorative fountains and other water-wasting activities.

More than 46 percent of the Golden State is in an exceptional drought, the highest classification according to the California Drought Monitor.

Just a year ago, 24 percent of the state was under such drastic conditions. The lack of precipitation and minimal snowpack has left California with limited resources.

In order to conserve, Gov. Jerry Brown issued historic water restrictions in April, mandating a 25 percent cut in water use statewide.

Residents have been urged to let their grass turn brown or replace grass with drought-friendly plants. Still, that hasn't stopped all Californians from trying to preserve their lush lawns. But thanks to the social media trend, others are publicly calling out those who are wasting water.

Inspired by the neighbor-on-neighbor call to action, an app known as DroughtShame was built to crowdsource photographic proof of "disregard for California's water restrictions," they wrote in their app description.

However, anyone with a social media account and a good eye can mark a water-waster with the quick use of a hashtag.