Water Use Efficiency

Department of Water Resources California State Fair display shows step-by-step examples of how to replace grass turf with water efficient plants.

Our California State Fair display shows step-by-step examples of how to replace grass turf with water efficient plants. DWR/2017.

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.

Our Work

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:

  • 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:

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.

  • The Small Suppliers Water Conservation Assistance Program is designed to help small water suppliers and communities overcome the challenges of acquiring funding and implementing drought and conservation programs by providing direct technical, managerial, financial, and demand management implementation assistance. DWR identified some of the most water shortage and drought-vulnerable small water suppliers (defined as those that serve 15 to 2,999 connections) based on the water shortage vulnerability risk assessment tool. This program does not have an application process, and selected small water suppliers will be contacted by a program representative.       


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 Tools

We 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.

Contact Us


The Department of Water Resources (DWR), in partnership with California State Association of Counties (CSAC), is convening a new series of virtual roundtable-style gatherings for county staff who are responsible for the planning and implementation of SB 552 of 2021 (Hertzberg).

Public Notices