Understanding how different crops use water over time is essential for planning and managing water allocation, water rights, and agricultural production. The main objective of this paper is to characterize the spatiotemporal dynamics of crop water use in the Central Valley of California using Landsat-based annual actual evapotranspiration (ETa) from 2008 to 2018 derived from the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEBop) model. Crop water use for 10 crops is characterized at multiple scales. The Mann–Kendall trend analysis revealed a significant increase in area cultivated with almonds and their water use, with an annual rate of change of 16,327 ha in area and 13,488 ha-m in water use. Conversely, alfalfa showed a significant decline with 12,429 ha in area and 13,901 ha-m in water use per year during the same period. A pixel-based Mann–Kendall trend analysis showed the changing crop type and water use at the level of individual fields for all of Kern County in the Central Valley. This study demonstrates the useful application of historical Landsat ET to produce relevant water management information. Similar studies can be conducted at regional and global scales to understand and quantify the relationships between land cover change and its impact on water use.