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San Francisco Combats Drought With 'Brown Is The New Green' Water Conservation Campaign

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco city officials are reaching out to the public, asking residents to do even more to help conserve water during the extended drought. The "Brown is the new Green" campaign was launched on Monday by the city's Public Utilities Commission.

"In order to stay with the times and be the greenest San Francisco citizen that you can be, we want you to let your front yard, if you have one, your patch of green to go brown," said Francesca Vietor—SFPUC's vice president, speaking on a patch of brown grass at Marina Green.

Signs with the new slogan written on them are now available to post in lawns. Vietor said they should be displayed as a badge of honor.

While residents are being asked to do more, the city will do more too; starting with more responsible watering of parks, meadows and street medians. The effort won't exactly kill off plant life, but things are expected to look a little shabbier.

Phil Ginsburg with the city's Recreation & Parks department joked they'll start calling it the Marina "kind of brown", but in all seriousness stressed the importance of conservation and watering outdoor spaces less.

He said big meadows like Marina Green are using a new TDR technology that measures the moisture content in order for groundskeepers to more precisely water.

One critic said the city's campaign is more of a symbolic measure that won't do much for moving the needle, so to speak. He added that the real water savings should take place in the state's agricultural industry.

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