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. 

The Public Review Drafts are now available for the Urban Water Management Plan Guidebook (UWMP) for preparing 2020 UWMPs (due on July 1, 2021) and for the Agricultural Water Management Plan Guidebook (AWMP) for preparing 2020 AWMPs (must be adopted by April 1, 2021 and submitted to DWR within 30 days of adoption).

DWR will hold two webinars to discuss the draft guidebooks on September 16, 2020. More information will soon be available on the DWR events page.

DWR is accepting comments on the Public Review Drafts through September 18, 2020.

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. 


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

Find general contact information in the directory, or select the button below to email WUE.

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