Coverage of California's drought and updates on conditions around the state

Water Conservation Tips: How to Reduce Usage During Drought Emergency

Gov. Brown urged residents to cut their water usage by 20 percent after he declared a statewide drought emergency

By Mekhalo Medina and Samia Khan
|  Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014  |  Updated 11:37 AM PDT
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California Governor Jerry Brown is calling on Angelenos to cut water usage by 20 percent. Many wonder what this will mean for everyday life. Mekahlo Medina reports from Highland Park for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.

Mekahlo Medina

California Governor Jerry Brown is calling on Angelenos to cut water usage by 20 percent. Many wonder what this will mean for everyday life. Mekahlo Medina reports from Highland Park for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.

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In the wake of a statewide water shortage that has forced Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a drought emergency, it is important that Californians do their part to conserve water.

Brown declared the drought emergency Friday, stating that recent conditions have contributed to what is "perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen" since record keeping began in 1970.

READ: Gov. Brown Declares CA Drought Emergency

Gov. Brown suggested that each person cut their water usage by 20 percent.

According to the California Department of Water Resources, Angelenos use, on average, 156 gallons of water a day. Cutting that number by 20 percent means cutting back on using approximately 30 gallons of water a day.

Making small changes to a number of daily habits could help you reach this goal, according to an NBC4 report.

WATCH: Prolonged Dry Weather Could Drive Up Price of Water

Installing aerators on bathroom faucets can save 1.2 gallons of water a day, according to Save Our Water.

You can save up to 10 gallons a day by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth.

Reducing your shower time in from 10 minutes to 5 minutes can also save 12.5 gallons of water a day.

Replacing your toilet and installing a high-efficiency toilet is a more permanent solution that can save 19 gallons of water a day.

RUNNING DRY: Coverage of California's Looming Water Problem

It’s also important to be efficient when doing things such as the laundry and the dishes. Residents are encouraged to wait until the load is full, to maximize the usage of water. Waiting until the dishwater load is full could save up to 15 gallons of water.

Homeowners can also save water by cutting back on outdoor water usage. Using your sprinklers for 3 to 5 minutes less time could save between 2 and 5 gallons.

MAP: California's Serious Drought Problem

This January may be the driest on record for California. The record was set in 1984, when just 0.3 inches of rain fell across state.

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