Do you use water a disgrace to help conserve it?

The move, taken by the East Bay Municipal Services District, owes to the drought of the past decade when many of California’s rich and famous were fired, including beloved stars such as Giant’s Great Buster Posey, Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi and comedian Amy Poehler. Lack of restraint when tap water.

Twitter and YouTube have become bastions of contempt Heavy water users. Video posts highlight the outrageously large green lawns, gorgeous swimming pools and even water sprinklers that some people use to cool off, often accompanied by the property’s alleged wasteful title and the hashtag #droughtshaming.

East Bay utility officials, who say they only want to save water this year, stress that their intention to reveal customer identities is not to make fun of anyone. In fact, the officials assert that they are not the ones publishing any names. It is district policy, which sets a limit on the amount of water families can use, that makes the identity of offenders a matter of public registration and thus fair game for others, including The Chronicle.

However, even as district officials are kept away from a public customer outing, they are taking advantage of it.

District spokeswoman Andrea Bock acknowledged that “the public records component can be very effective in some cases,” noting changes in behavior that utilities have seen in the past decade after papers submitted the names of water jockeys.

Billy Bean, executive vice president of Oakland A’s and subject of the Academy Award-nominated movie “Moneyball,” was one of the biggest water users ever to come to light. The sports icon was reportedly using nearly 6,000 gallons of water per day in his Danville home, more than 20 times what the average household in the area uses.

Oakland Athletics' Billy Bean laughs with others before a gala honoring a 20-game winning streak by 2002 ahead of a game in Oakland in August.  Ben was on the redundant water user list in the recent drought and said at the time that

Oakland Athletics’ Billy Bean laughs with others before a gala honoring a 20-game winning streak by 2002 ahead of a game in Oakland in August. Bain was on the list of excess water users in a recent drought and said at the time that he was “more than upset and embarrassed” by the use.

Scott Strazant, Staff Photographer/The Chronicle

Once his consumption was broadcast widely, Beane promised a better job.

“We are upset and embarrassed by the use and are taking immediate action,” he said in a statement at the time.

Felicia Marcus, chair of the state’s Water Resources Monitoring Board during a recent drought and now a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Water West Program, is not a fan of drought but says it is working.

“No amount of money or a fine would ever pay a rich person to think about it,” Marcus said. “These are people who often have multiple homes. They may not live there and often don’t see their bills. Sometimes defamation is your best and only option.”

The current maximum water use in the East Bay Municipal Area for utilities, like most previous rationing programs, has a very high threshold, which means it takes a lot of water to break the law. The 1,646-gallon-per-day limit, which is charged over a two-month billing cycle, is about eight times what the average household in the area uses.

Marcus says that targeting these heavy water users in different ways is very effective in reducing the agency’s overall consumption and the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint. She said that if there is a lot of water to go around, people should share it.

“He plays for our sense of fairness,” she said.

Records obtained Tuesday from the East Bay Municipal Utilities District show that only three customers have exceeded the area’s water limit since it went into effect this spring. However, the small number of names is a product of the agency’s billing protocols, not necessarily consumer provision.

Only information from three billing days was provided by the district, which bills continuously over a two-month period. Water officials expect to name between 200 and 300 customers when records are released again in late October.

California drought: Should we shame those who use too much water?  One of three properties on the East Bay Municipal utility area list for excess water users released Tuesday.

California drought: Should we shame those who use too much water? One of three properties on the East Bay Municipal utility area list for excess water users released Tuesday.

Samantha Laurie, Independent/Private at The Chronicle

The district serves more than 1.4 million people in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, including Oakland and Berkeley.

The Chronicle did not identify the three new offenders in the area because they are not public figures, although it did post a photo of one of the estates – a large walled house with a sprawling yard in Orinda.

At least one reader said, among many who do not support the practice of defamation of drought, that even an image like this goes too far.

“You should take a moment and think about how you feel when your home is being deployed and targeted in this context, and how you might feel about the safety of your family and young children in this situation,” the reader wrote. “A little empathy can go a long way in today’s world.”

Curtis Alexander is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: kalexander@sfchronicle.com Twitter: kurtisalexander

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