Drought-stricken Los Angeles is weighing new ways to crack down on residents who use more than their fair share of dwindling water supplies. For the first time in many years, such water hogs could be publicly named in an official version of the increasingly familiar and social-media-driven phenomenon of “drought shaming”.

Earlier this month, LA councilman Paul Koretz had a motion approved that gave the city’s department of water and power 30 days to recommend measures to curb excessive water use, up to and including shutting off supplies. According to the Los Angeles Times, the city council is also considering stiffening the rules on water conservation with “substantial” fines for excessive consumption.

The naming and shaming of heavy users would be a similarly draconian step.

Bronson Mack, a spokesman for the water authority of neighbouring southern Nevada, said the publication of the names of water-wasters in his state had often proved an effective way of changing water use habits. Individuals were notified by the authorities when their names were about to be released in the public records, he said.

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