Water Use Efficiency
Efficient water management and use are critical for all California residents, agencies, and businesses. As our population increases and the climate changes, we need to use water sustainably to ensure we can support healthy communities, economies, farms, ecosystems and cultural traditions that depend on a reliable water supply. Managing California’s water today and for future generations requires a strategic, integrated approach that includes a strong emphasis on water use efficiency and conservation.
We are responsible for implementing statewide urban and agricultural water use efficiency programs, strengthening local drought resilience, managing the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS), and collecting and analyzing data on California’s urban and agricultural land and water use.
We are responsible for:
Implementing landmark 2018 Water Conservation Legislation (AB 1668(Friedman) and SB 606(Hertzberg) including development of
New standards-based, water use objectives
Commercial, Industrial and Institutional performance measures
Strengthened agricultural water use efficiency measures
Managing drought preparedness and water shortage contingency planning for urban water suppliers, small and rural suppliers, and self-supplied communities
Providing technical and local assistance for implementation of efficient water management programs and projects through partnerships, grant and loan programs.
We collect data and monitor compliance with following reporting requirements:
Water use targets and objectives: SB X7-7 (20x2020) Water Use Targets
Distribution System Loss Reporting: Validated Water Loss Audits
Efficient Urban Landscapes: Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO)
Technical and Local Assistance
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.
WUE Data Portal
The WUE Data Portal allows urban and agricultural water suppliers to submit, modify, and view required urban and agricultural water management planning documents, water loss reporting and Farm Gate Delivery data. It also enables researches and the public to view submitted information with no login required.
2018 Water Conservation Legislation Workgroup SharePoint Site
DWR has set up a SharePoint site to host data and information for workgroup members and stakeholders interested in the development of projects required by the 2018 Water Conservation Legislation. This site requires enrollment but joining is free and open to all. To request access, email WUE@water.ca.gov and you will be added as a member.
Data and ToolsWe manage the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) which collects and provides crucial weather data to the public for irrigation scheduling, water balance analyses, pest management, energy generation, firefighting, weather forecasting, and scientific research. We also manage the Land and Water Use Program which develops water use estimates used in a variety of statewide water planning efforts. To ensure robust planning to meet an uncertain future, state and local agencies and the public will need access water data. Here you will find various datasets, interactive mapping tools, and reports which are important resources to support the efficient use of our water resources.
The Department of Water Resources has published rulemaking documents for proposed amendments to the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. A written comment period commences on November 17, 2023, and closes on January 16, 2024.