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Water Conservation Field Services Program
Education - Water Measurement

Increasing competition for limited water supplies by such interests as hydropower, municipal, industrial, irrigation, recreation, aesthetic, and ecological uses has increased in the recent decades.  As public scrutiny and interest in resolving resource conflicts evolves, water users will need to account for their resource stewardship. Water users can justify their usage through a sound water measurement and accounting programs. Because development of new water supplies is costly and requires lengthy environmental review, implementation of best management practices - which include water conservation - can assist entities in maximizing the existing supplies.

For the agriculture community, water measurement serves as a means to ensure equitable distribution among the irrigators and provides an accounting of how the water was used for beneficial use. For entities that receive revenues based on water deliveries, water measurement is essential in determining to cost to the user.  Water measurement at the field level provides the producer with essential information related to crop production.  Excessive water application to crops may in fact reduce yield and leach nutrients from the soil.

The Bureau of Reclamation's Water Measurement Manual provides information on various types of open channel and closed conduit measuring devices and procedures.


Last Updated: 6/17/08