Data for Irrigation by crop in the Continental United States from 2008 to 2020

  • Paul Ruess (Creator)
  • Megan Konar (Creator)
  • Niko Wanders (Creator)
  • Marc Bierkens (Creator)



Agriculture is the largest user of water in the United States. Yet, we do not understand the spatially resolved sources of irrigation water use by crop. The goal of this study is to estimate crop-specific irrigation water use from surface water withdrawals, total groundwater withdrawals, and nonrenewable groundwater depletion for the Continental United States. Water use by source is provided for 20 crops and crop groups from 2008 to 2020 at the county spatial resolution.

These results present the first national-scale assessment of irrigation by crop, county, water source, and year. In total, there are nearly 2.5 million data points in this dataset (3,142 counties; 13 years; 3 water sources; and 20 crops). This dataset supports the paper by Ruess et al (2023) in Water Resources Research,

When using, please cite as:
Ruess, P.J., Konar, M., Wanders, N. , & Bierkens, M. (2023). Irrigation by crop in the Continental United States from 2008 to 2020, Water Resources Research, 59, e2022WR032804.
Date made availableJan 10 2023
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


  • surface water
  • irrigation
  • groundwater
  • counties
  • crops
  • time series
  • Water use
  • groundwater depletion

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