Why Agricultural Water Stewardship?

The forces coming to bear on water supply for agriculture have never been so significant. Water availability will be one of the most prominent forces shaping the future of agriculture in California. California agriculture has a great opportunity at this time to innovate new solutions, demonstrate leadership in achieving multiple benefits, and forge new partnerships to address these challenges.

Agricultural water stewardship is the use of water in a way that optimizes agricultural production while also addressing co-benefits for the environment and human health. The local and regional context in which a farm operates will determine the best water management approaches to maximize water use efficiency, minimize adverse environmental impacts, and balance trade-offs for society as a whole.

Smart water use – agricultural water stewardship – helps producers address the associated operational risks and challenges while supplying benefits to the broader watershed. Agricultural water stewardship practices are core to the values that characterize sustainable agriculture and will help protect the future viability of agricultural production for California and beyond.