Aerial Mapping

Aerial Imagery and Related Water Use Efficiency Tools

Using Aerial Imagery to Drive Changes
in Customer Water Use

Note: Workshops are held throughout the watershed at SAWPA member agency offices. For information contact Rick Whetsel at

SAWPA offers 2015 aerial imagery data to help water agencies in the Santa Ana River Watershed calculate outdoor water demands. (Note: Updated aerial mapping is in development.) To create water budgets by parcel, SAWPA collected the 2015 3-inch high resolution aerial imagery.

This data was used to conduct an analysis of vegetated landscape including measurements of irrigated turf, shrub and trees, as well as non-irrigated landscape aggregated at the parcel level.

The imagery and related tools discussed in the tabs below help agencies:

  • Identify inefficient water users who would benefit from agency programs and outreach.
  • Improve water resource demand forecasts.
  • Comply with regulations on agency-wide water budgets as required by Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668.
  • Respond to customer billing inquiries.
  • Provide measurements of irrigable/irrigated areas for water audits.

Additionally, to assist water agencies to assess outdoor water demands, evapotranspiration [acquired from spatial California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS)] was used to estimate monthly water budgets for 2015, 2016 and 2017 at the parcel level. This data is also available from SAWPA as a CSV file.

For access to the imagery and landscape analysis datasets, email Peter Vitt at The imagery is sent as a TIFF file and the landscape classification data comes in shape files and in a table. Because the data acquisition was funded by a One Water One Watershed (OWOW) grant, agencies are given a no-cost imagery license for the purpose of implementing the goals of the OWOW Plan.

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