California Water Footprint

With unprecedented drought levels throughout many counties in California, state Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January 2015. The state's agriculture industry has come under particular scrutiny: even though it has been calculated that agriculture accounts 80% of the state's human water use, the governor's executive order to limit water use largely exempts the industry.

In this database we have collected data from various sources to find some interesting facts and estimates on the production size and water footprint of California crops.

Production per crop in California (2013) shown with the state's share of total US production

California production for 2013 in metric tons. Percentage of California's share is based on USDA for most crops; for a selection of crops share was not given and was calculated by the author comparing the USDA and FAO data. Sources: Water Footprint NetworkUSDA and FAO.

California's crops compared: value in US$ and water footprint

California value in US$ as given by the USDA for 2013. California 2013 water footprint calculated using the average water footprint between 1996-2005 applied to the 2013 crop quantity. Sources: Water Footprint NetworkUSDA and FAO

A selection of California crops and their average water footprint

Average Water Footprint based on 1996-2005 averages. Sources: Water Footprint Network. See all crops here.

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