The analysis of long-term irrigation performance series is a valuable tool to improve irrigation management and efficiency. This work focuses in the assessment of irrigation performance indices along years 1995-2008, and the cause-effect relationships with irrigation modernization works taking place in the 4000Â ha surface-irrigated La Violada Irrigation District (VID). Irrigation management was poor, as shown by the low mean seasonal irrigation consumptive use coefficient (ICUCÂ =Â 51%) and the high relative water deficit (RWDÂ =Â 20%) and drainage fraction (DRFÂ =Â 54%). April had the poorest irrigation performance because corn (with low water demand in this month) was irrigated to promote its emergence, whereas winter grains (with high water demands in this month) were not fully irrigated in water-scarce years. Corn, highly sensitive to water stress, was the crop with best irrigation performance because it was preferentially irrigated to minimize yield losses. The construction of a new elevated canal that decreased seepage and drainage fractions, the entrance in operation of six internal reservoirs that would increase irrigation scheduling flexibility, and the on-going transformation from surface to sprinkler irrigation systems are critical changes in VID that should lead to improved ICUC, lower RWD and lower DRF. The implications of these modernization works on the conservation of water quantity and quality within and outside VID is further discussed.