The Pacific Institute recommends that California use water in smarter ways. Specifically, the use of drip irrigation or micro-irrigation (as opposed to the most commonly used flood irrigation) is the most efficient method to water crops and achieve "maximum crop yield from a unit of water."
How do we switch? Suggestions include:
devoting less land to rice, cotton, alfalfa and other field crops, which now get 80 percent of their water from flooding. They recommend giving more to vegetables, vineyards and orchards, crops for which micro-irrigation is more common.Check out the full article from DOT EARTH