Water Facts

Terms - AV Facts - Earth's Water - Watersheds - Environment - Agriculture - Water Usage

   Water Terms and Definitions

  • AVEK:
    Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency.
    AVEK is a regional importer-water-wholesale-supply organization. It is a public agency.
  • SWP:
    State Water Project
  • DWR:
    Department of Water Resources. The state agency that operates and maintains facilities of the SWP.
  • Supplemental Water:
    Water imported through SWP facilities to supplement local groundwater supplies.
  • DAWN Project:
    Domestic-Agricultural Water Network.
    The water treatment plants and water pipelines constructed by AVEK to serve agency customers in the Antelope Valley.
  • M & I Water:
    Municipal and industrial water.
    Treated water ready for domestic consumption.
  • Acre-foot of water:
    325,850 gallons, or approximately the amount of water it takes to cover a football field to the depth of one foot.
  • Turnout:
    A turnout is a diversionary channel used to move water from the California Aqueduct to an AVEK M & I or agricultural water transportation line. Turnouts are normally a combination of siphons and pumps.
  • mgd:
    Million gallons per day
  • groundwater:
    Water taken from the underground aquifer (underground water table). Groundwater can be mixed with imported water for treatment and delivery to consumers.
  • Treated water:
    Water processed for domestic consumption.
  • Potable water:
    Water fit for human consumption.

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  Antelope Valley Facts

  • The Antelope Valley is part of a desert, which means that water conservation needs to be part of our lives.
  • According to water experts, Antelope Valley households, with two adults and two children and a medium to large yard, use an average of 6,266 gallons of water per week.
  • About one-half of all the water consumed by urban dwellers is used outside for lawn and garden irrigation, washing the car and cleaning the driveway and sidewalks.
  • To help conserve water, try deactivating your automatic sprinkler system and operating it manually. Adjust your sprinklers so they do not spray the sidewalks, driveway or street. As much as 250 gallons of water can be saved per week.
  • Try drip irrigation for shrubs and for your garden. The water will go where to want it when you want it to.
  • Longer grass reduces evaporation. Try setting your lawn mower blades a notch higher.
  • Try using bark, peat moss or gravel to cover bare ground in gardens and around trees. Mulching will help keep moisture in the ground.
  • Repair of leaky faucets and pipes in and around the house will save water and money. One leaky faucet can cost you 150 gallons per week.
  • More water saving tips can be obtained from your water purveyor.

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The Earth's Water

  • 97.2% of the water on Earth is salt water, while only 2.8% of the Earth's water is freshwater.
  • You could survive about a month without food, but only 5 to 7 days without water.
  • Approximately 250 million people are using the same water resources that 4 million people used 200 years ago.
  • The average American uses about 160 gallons of water a day at a cost of only 27 cents.
  • An acre of corn contributes more to humidity than a lake of the same size.
  • What you pour down the drain, and put on the ground, can pollute groundwater. One quart of oil could contaminate 250,000 gallons of water.

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  • A watershed system consists of the land area from which water, sediment, and dissolved materials drain into a common watercourse or body of water.
  • Earth's land and water are directly linked by the water cycle, with water entering the watershed in seasonal cycles as rain or snow.
  • Some precipitation infiltrates the soil and percolates through permeable rock into groundwater storage and recharge areas called aquifers.
  • During dry summer months, natural groundwater discharge is the main contributor to streamflow.
  • Water quality is largely determined by the soils and vegetation in a surrounding watershed. Human activities, including livestock grazing, agriculture, recreation and urban or industrial development, have pronounced impacts on watershed quality.

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  • Wetlands, natural recycling systems that recharge groundwater supplies and help ensure pure drinking water, cleanse nutrients and heavy metals from runoff water before emptying into lakes and streams. These natural flood plains prevent billions of dollars in flood damage each year.
  • Common point source pollutants are discharges from factories or municipal sewage treatment plants that enter waterways from specific points.
  • Agriculture, urban construction, residential developments, roadsides and parking lots can create non-point source pollutants such as sediment, fertilizers, toxic materials, and animal wastes.

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  • Irrigation of agriculture accounts for 28% of total water used in California. Agriculture uses about 80% of California's accessible developed water supply.
  • California farmers are efficient in their use of our water resource. Farmers used the same amount of water in 1990 as in 1967 with 8% more acreage irrigated, and 60% more crop production.
  • A Water Education Foundation study indicates that it takes about 11 gallons of water to produce one-half cup of broccoli, 14 gallons of water to produce a medium size orange, and about 40 gallons of water to produce an 8-ounce serving of cantaloupe. It takes about 48 ounces of water to produce an 8-ounce glass of water.

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Urban Water Use

  • Water use continues to grow in urban areas due to significant population increases and the establishment of urban centers in warmer areas of California.
  • More than 50% of water used in residential areas is for outside landscape.

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Other Water Use

  • Commercial water use accounts for 18%

  • Industrial water use 9%

  • Government water use 6%

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