Conjunctive Use of Surface and Groundwater Supplies

Where conjunctive use is appropriate, approximately 70% of the irrigaed acreage represented in the survey is actively engaged in a conjunctive use program.


*In December 2008 the Council released a report representing over 40% of the State's total irrigated acreage.


Download a copy of the report here.


Conjunctive use is the coordinated management of surface and groundwater.  Surface and groundwater are closely connected.  Management changes to either supply affect the conditions of the other. 

Conjunctive use and recharge programs have grown substantially in California as groundwater levels in some areas began to decline and surface water supplies grow increasingly scarce.


Conjunctive Use Methods to Recharge Groundwater: 


  • irrigation activities
  • natural streams or wetlands
  • in-lieu recharge recharge ponds
  • out-of district groundwater banking
  • unlined canals