Land & Water Use

vineyards, crops, sunset land use

A view of Paso Robles in Central California. DWR/2015.

The Land and Water Use Program collects land-use data and develops water-use estimates for a variety of statewide water planning efforts, including:

  • California Water Plan
  • Evaluation of water-use efficiency measures
  • Future water-use projections
  • Groundwater model development
  • Water transfers


We conduct surveys of agricultural, urban, and environmental land uses; collect weather and other data required to make crop and landscape water-use estimates; and develop annual estimates of land and water uses on a regional basis.


We provide the following services and tools to internal DWR programs and to other users:


  • Agricultural land and water use estimates of irrigated crop acreages, crop evapotranspiration (ETc), effective precipitation (Ep), evapotranspiration of applied water (ETaw), and applied water (AW) for 20 crop categories for each year for study areas within each county 
  • Agricultural Water Use Models, such as Consumptive Use Program PLUS (CUP+), Simulation of Evapotranspiration of Applied Water (SIMETAW), and California Simulation of Evapotranspiration of Applied Water, developed in collaboration with the University of California, Davis (Cal-SIMETAW)



Land and Water Use Study Areas —Interactive GIS map of downloadable land use survey data.