Wednesday, May 11, 2016
In an emergency, it is easier to gain cooperation of the public. People want to help. Once the emergency is past, people want to go back to their daily routines. That is what makes this action difficult to sustain. Citizens of California have just lived through a wet winter and are ready to drop water restrictions brought on by five years of drought. The governor is saying California will be a dry state from this point on and emergency rules must become permanent. It will take a prolonged PR campaign to gain near universal compliance and some people and organizations will resist to the end. Perhaps the only way to get rebellious citizens in line is through public shaming. Tagging someone as a "water waster" could hold that person up for peer pressure. No one likes a dead lawn and brown plants, but if one is in the situation together with millions of others, it becomes easier to bear. The governor is counting on that.