You can report water waste

Desert Water Agency releases new app

Palm Springs, Calif. - If you notice water being wasted, the Desert Water agency says it wants to hear about it.

Since the launch of its new mobile app last week, the DWA says it's heard from nearly 100 people reporting water waste.

"I think it drives most people crazy when they see a leaking faucet, or a leaking sprinkler," Bermuda Dunes resident, Ken Potts said.

The Desert Water Agency has developed a handy tool to report water waste in this time of severe drought in California.

A free app is available to iPhone users to download so they can report broken sprinklers, leaky faucets and the like.

Katie Ruark is a public relations specialist for DWA, which is the water utility for Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, and part of Cathedral City.

"It's not punitive," Ruark said. "We want to educate people. We want to help people address inefficiencies and use water wisely."

Even though water wasters are not facing fines or penalties, we wondered if people would hesitate to report their friends and neighbors to the DWA. Some said they don't use apps, but all we spoke with said they wouldn't hesitate to report water waste.

"I don't think it would be such a big issue if it was like with a neighbor," William Burkett said.

Potts says he "would definitely use the app in that instance to let them know that they've got a leak. Absolutely. That always bothers me."

The app prompts users to describe the water waste, and give the location. They can also upload a photo. A DWA technician will be sent out to inspect the area, and then Roark will contact the property owner with suggestions on how they can fix the problem, and potentially save money on their water bill.

"We find that people are really happy to hear from us on this," Ruark said. "Because again, it's something that people just don't know if they have a leak. They're not watching it."

Now, anyone could be watching, and the DWA hopes, fewer will be wasting.

The app is available for free download in the iTunes store by searching 'Desert Water Agency." The DWA says the app will be available for Android users soon.

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