Water Use & Efficiency
Efficient water use and management is critical for all California residents, agencies, and businesses. As our population increases and the climate changes, we may not have enough water to support all of our needs and California's extraordinary environment if we aren't careful.
To ensure we have enough water now and in the future, we need to make water conservation a California way of life. Through partnerships, grant and loan programs, and research and data analysis, the Water Use and Efficiency Branch (WUE) works with agencies and individuals to provide assistance for improving water use efficiency and developing and meeting efficient water use requirements, including:
- Agriculture and urban water and energy planning and conservation
- Drought contingency planning
- Alternative water supplies development and use, such as water recycling, desalination, stormwater capture, and graywater collection.
WUE also has 2 important programs that provide tools and data for managing water use:
- California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) provides reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and weather data to the public for irrigation scheduling, water balance analyses, pest management, energy generation, firefighting, weather forecasting, and scientific research.
- Land and Water Use program collects land use data and develops water use estimates used in a variety of statewide water planning efforts.
WUE serves as a leader in important water conservation legislation, regulations, and Executive Order directives. Visit The Law for additional information about WUE legal activities.
2015 Water Management Plan Submittal Status Summary
Urban (as of June 9, 2017)
- 394 - urban water suppliers per California Water Code definition
- 12 - suppliers under the reporting threshold per California Water Code definition
- 6 - regional alliances
Agricultural (as of October 4, 2018)
- 54 - Estimated agricultural water suppliers serving more than 25,000 acres representing 4,074,400 acres
- 47 submitted plans to us
- 0 notified as in progress
- 7 plans not submitted
- 39 Estimated agricultural water suppliers serving 10,000 to 25,000 acres representing 594,600 acres
- 26 submitted plans to DWR
- 5 were notified as in progress
- 8 plans not submitted
- The Water Desalination Grant Program provides grants to local agencies for the planning, design, and construction of water desalination facilities for both brackish and ocean water. We also provide grants for pilot, demonstration, and research projects.
- The California Turf Replacement Initiative provides rebates for removing turf and replacing it with landscapes that require little water at California single-family residences to support the State's drought response.
- The Water Use Efficiency Financial Assistance Program helps urban and agricultural communities cope with water shortages and drought conditions by providing funding to agencies for the implementation of water use efficiency projects that would achieve water savings, provide improved operational efficiencies, and provide water quality improvements, energy savings, and environmental benefits.
Publications & Reports
- Stormwater Targets for Groundwater Recharge and Direct Use in Urban California Public Review Draft
AB 1668 and SB 606 Primer: A Summary of the 2018 Conservation Legislation, Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life
A summary prepared by DWR, with input from SWRCB, of the 2018 Conservation Legislation, Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life.
- Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Task Force – Water Use Best Management Practices Report to the Legislature, Executive Summary
- Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Task Force – Water Use Best Management Practices Report to the Legislature, Volume 1
- Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Task Force – Water Use Best Management Practices Report to the Legislature, Volume 2
- Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life, Implementing Executive Order B-37-16: Final Report
- Methodologies for Calculating Baseline and Compliance Urban Per Capita Water Use
- SB X7-7 Provisional Method 4 Target Calculator
- SB X7-7 Provisional Method 4 Target Calculator Instructions
- SB X7-7 Provisional Target Method 4
- Submittal of 2012 Agricultural Water Management Plans and Implementation of Efficient Water Management Practices Review Report to the Legislature
- Submittal of 2015 Agricultural Water Management Plans Report
- 2015 Updated Chapter 2.7: Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance
- California Financing Coordinating Committee
- California Institute for Water Resources
- California Water Efficiency Partnership (formerly the California Urban Water Conservation Council)
- California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS)
- DWR Population Tool (via WUEdata)
- Save Our Water
- State Water Resources Control Board, Water Conservation Portal