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Water Conservation Field Services Program

In 1997, Reclamation created the Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP). The WCFSP is designed to encourage water conservation to assist water agencies develop and implement effective water management and conservation plans, to coordinate with state and other local conservation program efforts, and generally to foster improved water management on a regional, statewide and watershed basis. Area of emphasis include:

Water Management Planning
The Water Conservation Field Services Program assists water agencies in the development of quality water conservation plans. In many cases, this is technical assistance provided by Reclamation staff. In others, it may be financial assistance through cost-sharing to support the district in development of its plan.

For Example:
Reclamation is helping the Tualatin Valley Irrigation District, in Portland, Oregon, to establish a districtwide Geographical Information System to support their long-range water management planning. The system will re-map district boundaries, water conveyance facilities, easements, and other important resources.

Typical activities include:
  • Conduct field visits to assist with resource inventories and water conservation plans
  • Assist with planning surveys and designs, water budgets and investigations, studies, and evaluations
  • Facilitate planning among districts by encouraging and developing partnerships and agreements
  • Coordinate technical assistance through partnerships and agreements among organizations



Conservation Education
Reclamation utilizes the Water Conservation Field Services Program to collect and disseminate information about water use and management.

For Example:
The Educational Link provides a school program for 4th and 5th grade students in the Sacramento area. A student booklet and lesson plans introduce students to water conservation concepts. The students learn to read meters and conduct audits of their school and home. The program is linked to a similar one in South Africa and the students are encouraged to e-mail pals in Cape Town and beyond.

Typical activities include:
  • Conducting field tours
  • Distributing information guides and materials
  • Conducting workshops including an annual management seminar
  • Providing on-the-ground educational services for general and specific activities
  • Arranging partnerships with governmental, state, and local educational activities
  • Participating in water fairs and other children's activities
  • Establishing and supporting Water Conservation



Demonstration of Innovative Technologies
Area programs are supporting local demostration of projects such as improved water measurements, appropriate use of automation and telemetry control, new approaches to minimizing canel and ditch seepage, and innovative on-farm irrigation management methods.

For Example:
The Mirage Flats Irrigation District in Nebraska has been able to create an irrigation scheduling demonstration project that protects the underlying aquifer's water quality and increases reliable water supplies. The project provides irrigation water for 11,700 acres using surface and ground water supplies.

Typical activities include:
  • Assist with research, evaluation and demonstration
  • Sponsor specific conservation demonstration projects and activities
  • Coordinate financial assistance for joint projects and partnerships with other agencies



Implementation of Conservation Measures
The Water Conservation Field Service Program provides technical help for water agencies to begin implementing conservation measures. Local programs also provide cost-sharing, generally on a 50-50 basis, through cooperative agreements or grants.

For Example:
Reclamation is cooperating with irrigators in south-central Utah to automate water distribution on 11 canal systems. The automation system involves a real-time monitoring station for use on a flume and solar-powered gate actuators that were designed by Reclamation. The system has expanded to 22 sites, giving irrigators a more reliable water supply and reduced water use.

Typical activities include:
  • Assist water agencies with implementing water conservation plans and water management practices
  • Provide funds for implementation through cost-sharing activities
  • Facilitate partnerships with other organizations to conduct implementation activities