Social media may offer some tantalizing opportunities for people to photograph and publicly shame everyone they see potentially wasting water in the midst of mandatory cutbacks and a grim drought, but it looks like plenty of people are still opting for the official avenues for droughtshaming. KPCC says that, in a nearly five-month period from January 1 to May 21, there were 4,800 complaints submitted to the LA Department of Water and Power about water dribbling down sidewalks, off-hours sprinkler usage, and other water wasting. And nearly a third of those complaints came from just five eagle-eyed sections of the city.
The complaints were sorted according to zip codes, and the five zip codes with the most grievances together accounted for 1,710 complaints filed with the LADWP in the first five months of the year; that's more than a third of the total for the city. While the numbers were tallied according to zip code, overlays coincide more or less with the central city neighborhoods of Beverly Grove, Fairfax, Hancock Park (plus Windsor Square and part of northern Koreatown), Mid-Wilshire, and Westwood.
The most frequent complaints were often the same in each area: water running off of a property and into the street, violations of the even/odd watering schedule. Under the rules, homeowners are only supposed to water three days a week (with sprinklers), and then only before 9 am or after 4 pm. The days they can water depend on whether their address ends in an odd or even number (and no watering is allowed at all on Saturdays). Water is not supposed to be used to wash down sidewalks (ever heard of a broom?), nor is it ever supposed to run down sidewalks or into the street.
Here's how each neighborhood's most frequent gripes break down: