PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - According to the Desert Water Agency, the average valley family of four uses about 680 gallons of water per day. The good news is that number fell four percent from last year, but it's still much higher than many areas of the state.
"In the Coachella Valley, we're always trying to save water. We're in the desert and we know that, and conservation is always important to us," said Katie Ruark, public information officer for the Desert Water Agency.
Nonetheless valley water agencies take Gov. Brown's declaration of a drought emergency very seriously.
"We are asking everyone to voluntarily cut 20 percent," Ruark said.
For a family of four here that means cutting about 135 gallons per day.
There are a lot of ways you can reduce water use each day and it all starts in the home.
First, turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth. Doing this twice a day can save 10 gallons.
The average shower uses 15 gallons of water, so try to reduce your shower time by 5 minutes. Buying eco-friendly shower heads can help, too.
Avoid using the washing machine until you have a full load. The same goes for dishwashers, waiting to wash can save you 15 gallons.
And don't forget the outdoors. The DWA offers sprinkler timers that use the climate to adjust watering time.
"Most of us don't watch our sprinklers run so we don't know if sprinkler heads are broken. So look to see if sprinklers are doing what they're supposed to do," Ruark said.
But if you want to get precise, the DWA says there's only one way to know exactly how much you should be saving personally:
"Look at your bill, over here we have the consumption, this customer used 32 units. If you can reduce that number by 20 percent that's the best way to do what we're asking you for," Ruark said.
The Desert Water Agency will hold a special workshop on water conservation for the public February 22.
For more information on the workshop and other water-saving tips visit www.cvwatercounts.com.