San Diegans use social media to fight drought

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SAN DIEGO –San Diegans are turning off their faucets and sprinklers and taking to their computers and tablets to offer advice on how to conserve water.

Not only are messages getting spread through Facebook and Twitter, residents are focusing on their own communities through Nextdoor.com.

“Nextdoor is a free and private social network for neighborhoods, so any neighborhood can use Nextdoor.com to connect and communicate about the issues that matter in their community,” Nextdoor spokeswoman Kelsey Grady said.

Though topics may range from community events to crime sprees, right now a hot topic for many San Diegans and surrounding Southern California areas is water use.

“Recently, we partnered with San Diegans Waste No Water Initiative, so they can use Nextdoor as a vehicle to communicate with residents about important updates and tips to save water in San Diego,” Grady said.

The State Water Resources Control Board is modifying its original plan, urging people to cut back on water use.

Water regulators have put forth a new proposal, telling some areas, such as San Diego, to reduce water use by 16% while other areas, like Rancho Santa Fe should cut back their use by 36%. The revision came after looking at both per-capita use and past conservation efforts.

Jason Ubalde lives in Bay Park and said his neighbors use the site to share tips on what plants grow best in the neighborhood, how to water lawns and plants efficiently and even what type of soil to use to make the most of your yard during the drought.

And he’s not alone.

Pacific Beach resident Mike Spangler said water conservation is a huge talker in his area and residents turn to the website to share tips and get advice. Spangler represented Beautiful PB when he posted a video link demonstrating how anyone can build their own rain barrel.

Using social media isn’t new, but in this sense it is…people said they feel closer than ever to their own neighbors.

“Until aNextdoor, [technology] did not do a very good job connected us with people right outside our front doors,” Grady said.