Total Withdrawal (gallons/day)

2,910,000 to 49,999,999
49,999,999 to 249,999,999
249,999,999 to 999,999,999
999,999,999 to 1,999,999,999
1,999,999,999 to 6,000,000,000
Counties outlined ---- cyan are in the San Joaquin Valley. Source
Choose Year:

Map of California’s Water Use

Each county of California has been assigned a shade, corresponding to the amount of total water withdrawals. The numerical values corresponding to the shades have been defined in the legend in millions of gallons per day. To compare water use and population demographics, click on any of California’s 58 counties. In the charts, water withdrawal has been defined in gallons per day. (Scale is not constant, so always make note of it.) Water withdrawals have been broken down into sectors denoted agricultural, industrial/commercial/other, and domestic. To see how trends in California have been affected by time, adjust the year of interest with the buttons at the top.

Source:U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Census, California Department of Public Health

Map created by Jordan B. Bates and Aubrey Ann Parker, Circle of Blue’s web editor and chief data analyst respectively, with contributions from Sreeram Balakrishnan, Alysha Chan, Andrew Girrel, Sheng Long, Holly Jo Sparks, and Brett Walton.


Values were published in numerous excel files from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Water Withdrawal refers to groundwater that is pumped or surface water that is taken from a river, lake, or ocean.

Agricultural Withdrawal includes water that is used for irrigating farm fields and for use in the livestock industry, either as drinking water or in daily operations.

Domestic Withdrawal is the sum of two categories: the water that is supplied to households by a public utility and the self-supplied water that households gather themselves, usually from a well.

Industrial/Commercial/Other Withdrawals includes water that is used by the chemical, food, paper, and refining industries, as well as water that is used by power plants and water that is used by businesses such as restaurants, office buildings, and hotels.