Water Conservation in the Hydraulic Investigations and Laboratory Services Group
Increasing competition for limited water resources makes improved water management ever more important. Effective water management requires the ability to both measure and control the collection, distribution, and delivery of water. Primary programs to assist water managers are focused on:
- Water measurement technology
- Modern methods for control and operation of canal systems
- Integrated water measurement and control systems
Key components of the our efforts in this area are:
- Research and technology development
- Field demonstrations and technical assistance
- Technology transfer via training and publications
Active programs related to Water Measurement include:
- Development of the WinFlume computer program for calibration and design of long-throated flumes and broad-crested weirs
- Development of improved calibration methods for canal radial gate check structures, to facilitate accurate flow measurement and improved canal operations.
- Numerical modeling of flumes and weirs that have the potential to provide accurate flow measurement at sites where fish passage is also needed.
- Development of elbow flow-meter technology for application to piped irrigation systems.
- Development of low-cost flow meters and data recorders for on-farm open-channel applications.
Active work related to Automated Control and Operation of Canal Systems includes:
- Development of the patented Automated Farm Turnout (AFT). This integrated system (measuring flume, instrumentation, data logging and control electronics) automatically measures flow rates and delivers desired rates of flow to farm-scale turnouts. A licensee is now taking this device to the commercial market.
- Evaluations of water-level and gate-position sensors, control algorithms, communication equipment, computerized canal control hardware (remote terminal units), and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software on our model canal system. A list of equipment vendors is also maintained.
- Addition of spread-spectrum radio telemetry equipment to the canal model, for use in workshops.
- Modern Methods for Canal Operation and Control
- Flow Measurement
- Specialized workshops as requested (in Denver or on-the-road)
- Presentations on Flow Measurement and Canal Automation to attendees of the annual USBR Water Management Workshops.
- Presentations at industry gatherings, as requested
- Workshop development was subsidized by the Water Conservation Field Services Program; workshops are partially tuition-supported
Recent Field Demonstrations and Technical Assistance :
- Altus Irrigation District ( Altus, OK)
- Pioneer Irrigation District (Nebraska / Colorado)
- Several projects in New Mexico , including the Tucumcari Project and the Navajo Project
- Improving Irrigation Operations to Restore In-Stream Flows
Recent and Active Publication Efforts:
- Water Measurement Manual , 3rd ed. - The official water measurement reference for USBR, ARS, and NRCS.
- Water Measurement with Flumes and Weirs - manual for design and construction of long-throated flumes and broad-crested weirs, co-authored with the Agricultural Research Service ( Phoenix , AZ ) and the International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement (The Netherlands).-Publication in 2001.
- Video on pipe-flow measurements for irrigation systems-joint effort of USBR, NRCS, and University of Nebraska
- Reclamation's Science and Technology Program
- Reclamation's Water Conservation-Field Services Program
- Reclamation's Regional and Area Offices
- Reclamation's Manuals & Standards Program
- Irrigation districts throughout the western U.S.
- Agricultural Research Service ( Phoenix , AZ) and the International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement (ILRI) (The Netherlands )
- USGS, NRCS, FWS
- Universities ( Utah State , Colorado State et al.)
- Navajo, Pueblo , and Colorado River Indian Tribes
- Numerous equipment manufacturers
Last reviewed: 04/19/05