Did you know only 1 percent of the total water resources on earth -- including dry town Palm Desert -- are available for human use? It's a fact, according the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Water conservation is especially important in Palm Desert, an arid community, and the Coachella Valley Water District promotes water conservation as a matter of course.
On Saturday, the district invites the public to celebrate Drinking Water Week with "A Toast to Tap Water!"
There will be educational presentations with question-and-answer sessions at 9:30 a.m. and again at 11:30 a.m.
The event will also feature water tasting, activities for kids and free reusable water bottles for anyone who pledges to make tap water their drinking water of choice.
The Coachella Valley Water District delivers irrigation and drinking water, collects and recycles wastewater, provides storm water protection, replenishes the groundwater basin and promotes water conservation throughout the Coachella Valley in Riverside County.
The water district services nearly all cities in the valley, including Palm Desert. Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and Indio are not serviced by the CVWD.
The typical Coachella Valley home uses between 70 to 80 percent of its water on outdoor landscaping, according to Dave Koller, a CVWD conservation coordinator.
“Reducing outdoor water use is the most important step toward conservation,’’ Koller said.
Heather Engle, a CVWD spokeswoman, said there are several ways to reduce water use.
She recommended that home owners run sprinklers 17 minutes a day, seven days a week, depending on the lawn’s proximity to windy areas.
“This is a good starting point, but you could (need) more or less,” Engle said. “You need to find out for your own particular circumstances.”
She urged residents to run sprinklers at different times so the ground does not get saturated.
“We recommend you break it up into two or three different run times – half the time in the morning and half the time in the evening,’’ Engle said.
She also encouraged residents to turn off sprinklers during windy conditions.
Residents who want more information on efficient landscape gardening can read the district’s 160-page guide.
Water conservation experts encourage residents to buy energy efficient appliances, such WaterSense-labeled products.
Residents should also run full loads in the dishwasher and clothes washer; remember to turn off the tap while brushing teeth.
An agency in Washington State has compiled a list of what shouldn’t go down the drain, which includes unused medication, grease, cleaning wipes and harmful chemicals.
Toilets are not trash cans, water conservation officials say.
Tips provided by the agency on how to conserve water include using commercial car washes, installing drip irrigation, fixing leaks, using compost, choosing low-flow toilets, collecting water in rain barrels to irrigate, installing low flow shower heads and minimizing garbage disposal use.