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header image: Water Project Automation



Irrigation System Evaluation Team

The Provo Area Office water project automation team, working in conjunction with other Reclamation offices, will provide a water system evaluation, and inspection of existing irrigation facilities (ie. reservoir outlet works, diversion dams, check structures and major laterals, pumping plants) and make recommendations for the improvement of water measurement, enhancing system efficiency, retrofitting automation equipment, and selecting real-time monitoring and control equipment and software. The team's recommendations can provide valuable input for water conservation plans. Team members have the testing and documenting equipment to provide immediate troubleshooting assistance, as well as longer-term planning. They will provide an integrated approach to low-cost, enhanced water management. The team is available to make an evaluation upon request.

Design and Installation of Demonstration Sites

The Provo Area Office water project automation team can assist with the design and installation of low-cost automation demonstration sites, including those which involve retrofitting control equipment onto existing structures. Such sites can demonstrate the usefulness of automation as a cost-effective water management tool and provide an important starting point for a larger-scale system. The team has extensive experience in the design and installation of solar-powered retrofits. A typical retrofit can involve automating a diversion structure. If not already in place, gate actuators (either DC or AC) can be installed. A datalogger/controller, telemetry equipment, and sensors can be added. Software, including alarms, is then written to meet the needs of the water user. The gate system can be operated to:

  • Control the upstream pond elevation
  • Move the gate(s) remotely (manual remote control)
  • Adjust automatically to maintain a target flow (automatic remote control)

Demonstration sites can sometimes be partially funded through Reclamation programs including the Field Services Program (Water Conservation) and WaterSMART.

Real-Time Monitoring and Control Information Via the Internet

Displaying all real-time hydrologic and weather information on a single website encourages comprehensive river basin management. Real-time monitoring and control systems generate a great deal of very useful information that can be easily shared over the Internet. Several such sites have already been developed including:

These sites have all become important tools in the operation of their respective river basins.

River Basin Geoengineering

Heavily instrumenting river basins makes possible further research and development of geoengineering tools to improve river basin management. Potential tools for weather modification include precipitation enhancement (cloudseeding for both snowpack augmentation and temperature modification), CO2 removal, and temperature modification through alteration of the basin's albedo.


Last updated: July 1, 2014