As the drought continues to make it even more pertinent to conserve water, Turlock Irrigation District is doing its part by installing water metering equipment throughout the district in conjunction with its Agricultural Water Management Plan.
As part of the Water Conservation Act of 2009, also known as SBx7-7, agricultural water suppliers serving more than 25,000 acres must charge customers based on the actual volume used and within a specific accuracy tolerance.
To comply with the law, TID began its Water Measurement Project which will see every parcel within the district metered over the course of two years.
Since the law does not list a specific type of meter that must be used, the District is utilizing various measurement tools and meters based on which options cause the least amount of hindrance for irrigation deliveries.
The District has installed 478 side gates with FlumeMeter Offset Frames that serve over 1,700 parcels and 37,000 acres. Although all the frames have been installed, District staff is still in the process of calibrating flows.
“We anticipated that we were going to finish that already, but because of drought conditions we don’t have a lot of people irrigating all the time, so it can complicate and possibly prolong that,” said Assistant General Manager of Water Resources Tou Her.
Twelve sites will have Permanent FlumeMeters installed, which will serve 400 parcels and 6,600 acres. According to the District, turbulent and rare site conditions prompted this change.
“Through the process of installation, we realized that these were areas that were prone to high vandalism,” said Her. “So we put some Permanent FlumeMeters right in front of the side gate, so in case there is a vandalism issue and so forth we can just remove the FlumeMeter and not affect the side gate itself.”
A total of 131 SlipMeters and Permanent FlumeMeters have been installed throughout the District. Of that total, 92 are Flush mounted SlipMeters, 27 are Frame mounted SlipMeters, and 12 are Permanent FlumeMeters.
Altogether, this serves 2,900 parcels and 71,000 acres, which is nearly 50 percent of the District’s total acreage. The District reports that is currently 96 percent done with installation, with completion slated for mid July.
“With respect to SlipMeters, we only have five left to install, so by July we’ll have installed all SlipMeters out there,” said Her.