Even if California's farmers improve their already efficient use of irrigation water, little "new water" will be available for other uses.
That is the result of a study conducted by California State University, Fresno, researchers, who say they "found little potential exists for new water unless large swaths of agricultural land are taken out of production."
Pete Canessa, an agricultural engineer at CSU Fresno, led the team from the CSUF Center for Irrigation Technology that prepared the report.
This study updates a previous one conducted in 1982 by the University of Califorina Cooperative Extension.
Among the findings were:
• Even if agriculture improved its water use efficiency by about 330,000 acre-feet per year, that would only represent about 0.5 percent of the state's total water use.
• Environmental reallocations of agricultural water represent about 5 percent of farm water diversions, depending on the year.
• On-farm conservation efforts can affect downstream environments.
View the complete report at www.californiawater.org.