Considerable progresses have taken place, both in the methodology available to study changes in intracellular cytosolic calcium and in our understanding of calcium signaling cascades, but how calcium signals function in plant drought resistance is questionable. In plant cells, calcium plays roles as a second messenger coupling a wide range of extracellular stimuli with intracellular responses. Different extracellular stimuli trigger specific calcium signatures: dynamics, amplitude and duration of calcium transients specify the nature, implication and intensity of stimuli. Calcium-binding proteins (sensors) play a critical role in decoding calcium signatures and transducing signals by activating specific targets and corresponding metabolic pathways. Calmodulin is a calcium sensor known to regulate the activity of many mammalian proteins, whose targets in plants are now being identified. Higher plants possess a rapidly growing list of calmodulin targets with a variety of cellular functions. Nevertheless, many targets appear to be unique to higher plants and remain characterized, calling for a concerted effort to elucidate their functions. To date, three major classes of plant calcium signals, including calcium permeable ion channels, Ca(2+)/H(+) antiporters and Ca(2+)-ATPases, have been responsible for drought-stress signal transduction. This review summarizes the current knowledge of calcium signals involved in plant anti-drought and plant water use efficiency (WUE) and presents suggestions for future focus of study.