California State University, Fresno: Agricultural Water Use in California: A 2011 Update

Important findings of this study include:

  • The estimated potential new water from agricultural water use efficiency is 1.3% of the current amount used by the state’s farmers – about 330,000 acre‐feet per year.
  • Groundwater overdraft of about 2 million acre‐feet per year continues to be a serious problem in certain regions of California because of inconsistent and uncertain surface water supplies.
  • Changes in irrigation practices, such as switching from flood irrigation to drip, have the effect of rerouting flows within a region (or basin), but generally do not create new water outside of the basin.
  • Previous reallocations of agricultural water supplies for environmental purposes represent at least 5% of farm water diversions depending on water year.
  • On‐farm water conservation efforts can affect downstream water distribution patterns, with potential impacts on plants and animals, recreation, as well as human and industrial consumptive uses.

Click here for the full study.

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