Agricultural water use is water used for farming, horticulture, or ranching including irrigation, stock watering, or support of vegetation for range grazing.
This includes water used for irrigation and nonirrigation purposes. Irrigation water use includes the artificial application of water on land to promote the growth of crops and pasture, or to maintain vegetative growth in recreational lands, parks, and golf courses. Nonirrigation water use includes water used for livestock, which includes water for stock watering, feedlots, and dairy operations, and fish farming and other farm requirements.
Agricultural water use efficiency is defined by California Department of Water Resources as the ratio of applied water to the amount of water required to sustain agricultural productivity. Efficiency is increased through the application of less water to achieve the same beneficial productivity or by achieving more productivity while applying the same amount of water.