Turlock Irrigation District is looking to conserve as much water as it can with its Lateral 8 Total Control Channel Pilot Project. This pilot, in conjunction with the Lateral 8 Regulating Reservoir Project, will capture spillage and deliver only the amount of water that is needed for customers.
“Any kind of waste water—and some people say that spills are wasting water—is being heavily criticized in the state,” said TID spokesperson Michelle Reimers. “TID is cognizant of that and looking to make the necessary steps to modernize our system and find out where we can save water.”
The first one of its kind in TID, the Lateral 8 TCC Pilot Project will be placed in Hilmar. With 13 automated drop structures along its canal system, the Lateral 8 TCC Pilot Project will only release the amount of water that is demanded downstream.
Currently, TID sends more water than is needed to meet service requirements at the bottom end of the canal. Dependent on the success of the Lateral 8 TCC Pilot Project, TID hopes to replace their currently implemented gravity fed system, which is designed to incur spillage.
"The goal of the Lateral 8 TCC Pilot Project is to verify that this system works in our district, as well as verify the performance, level of service, and operational needs that a system like this will require,” said civil engineering department manager Brad Koehn.
After its implementation, TID staff hopes to see a number of benefits, including the elimination of spills on Lateral 8, demonstration of a TCC system, and demonstration of Rubicon’s Water Ordering Software
The TCC Pilot Project goes hand-in-hand with the Regulating Reservoir Project to delete spills along the canal. Once constructed, the Lateral 8 Regulating Reservoir will provide benefits including 29 acre-feet storage capacity, spill savings of approximately 2,250 acre-feet, and an overall improved level of customer service.
"This new system will capture spillage and re-release it when waters are needed,” reported Koehn.
Altogether, these projects have an estimated total capital investment cost of $5.5 million dollars, which means increased irrigation rates for the district. In compliance with Proposition 218, TID will go before the board on Nov. 18 to set a public hearing regarding the rate adoption for Jan. 13.
According to Koehn, both projects are set to mobilize in the near future, with slated completion before the next irrigation season.