Water Use FAQ

Some Facts about Water and How it is Used

What is an acre-foot of water?

An acre-foot is 326,000 gallons of water. The term itself is meant to describe a volume of water one foot deep over an area of one acre (43,560 square feet) in size. An average family will go through an acre foot of water over the course of twelve to eighteen months.

Where you will hear this term used: News articles, municipal agencies, and government announcements often discuss the water supply in terms of acre feet.

What is the origin of the term acre-foot? This term illustrates how intimately water use and water projects were developed and planned with farming and agriculture as their central focus. An acre-foot of water is a measure that is equated with watering cropland.

As a side note to this, the origin of the term acre, before becoming standardized with actual measurements, was defined as the area that a farmer could work with an animal team and hoe.