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Improvements to water use efficiency with genuine reductions in irrigation water use are most often achieved through upgrading irrigation layouts, or by altering irrigation scheduling practices. The following article looks at other components of the production system that affect overall water use efficiency.

One measure of water use efficiency is the volume of water applied to produce 1000 plants. If an irrigation system can be designed or managed to decrease the water volume required to produce 1000 plants, then increased production is possible from the same volume of water.