Water District No. 65 Canal Automation (Idaho, USA)
The Payette River Basin, in west-central Idaho, has been designated as Water District No. 65 (District) by the state of Idaho for the purpose of administering water rights for the various beneficial uses. The basin covers over two million acres, which includes about 500 miles of rivers and streams and 845,000 acre-feet of storage space in three large water storage reservoirs. The Payette River provides irrigation water to over 150,000 acres of prime Idaho farmland. Water District No. 65 tracks deliveries of both stored and natural flows from the river to all water users on the North, Middle, and South Forks, and the Main Payette River. Over the past few years, the District has implemented automation technologies to water management in the basin.
In conjunction with Reclamation, Water District No. 65 has shared the cost of purchasing and installing canal automation technologies. Currently, these devices control headgates on the river; lateral deliveries from canals; canal levels at certain spill sites; and they collect data and telemeter it to a central office for reporting and accounting of water deliveries. The automated sites use low-cost dataloggers and data communication is by cellular telephone. Most sites are solar powered. Currently, the District has cost-shared over 20 sites throughout the basin, with more planned for the future.
The latest automated project is Seven Mile Slough, a water-delivery arm of the lower Payette River. The Slough is now fully automated, with two automated radial gates controlling delivery of inflows to the Slough. The inflows are measured through a 40-foot ramp flume. Two automated Langemann Gates control: (1) the diversion of a drain into the Slough and (2) the release from the end pond back into the river. The newly automated Seven Mile Slough fulfills irrigation diversions, regulates inflows and outflows, and improves the re-use of drain water which improves the water quality in the lower Payette River.
More information and pictures are available on the District's web site: www.payetteriver.org