Bert Clemmens

Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE
Senior Engineer, Tempe, AZ

Bert Clemmens, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, is the National Director for Irrigation and Drainage with WEST Consultants. Dr. Clemmens has 43 years of experience in water resources.  He retired from the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2011, where he developed technology for improving water management, including low-head flow measurement methods, canal operations, canal automation, hydrologic water balances, and irrigation project performance metrics.

With USDA, he served as Center Director for the U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center, Maricopa, AZ and Laboratory Director for the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Phoenix, AZ. He oversaw research on irrigation management, remote sensing, wastewater reuse, crop response to global climate change, breeding of cotton and new industrial crops, plant physiology, and integrated pest management.

Dr. Clemmens is an international expert in open channel flow measurement and associated measurement accuracy. He has written several books on the subject. He developed software for calibration of measuring flumes and weirs, WinFlume, which is used worldwide. He is currently working on software for calibration of submerged radial and sluice gates, WinGate. This software is distributed by the Bureau of Reclamation.

Dr. Clemmens is an international expert in the field of canal automation. He led several American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) task committees with many international participants, including: evaluation of one-dimensional unsteady flow software, the state-of-the-art of canal automation research, and the use of canal automation for modernization. He developed SacMan (Software for Automated Canal Management), a program that interfaces with SCADA software to implement canal automation. This technology requires extensive knowledge of unsteady open-channel flow, control engineering, and canal operating methods. This led to the development of the SCADA Training Tool currently marketed by WEST.

Since joining WEST, Dr. Clemmens performed hydrologic and hydraulic modeling in support of possible certification of the levees along the East Maricopa Floodway.  In addition, Dr. Clemmens was the chair of the Engineering Board that evaluated water conservation potential for the San Carlos Irrigation and Drainage District.  He evaluated capacity and emergency shutdown for the Hayden Rhoades Aqueduct of the Central Arizona Project. He wrote canal operations software as part of a web-based management system for Navajo Agricultural Products Industries. Dr. Clemmens has also participated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s 7th Technical Committee for the review of Lake Michigan diversion flow measurements and accounting procedures.  He is currently working on a combined surface-water/groundwater model of the lower reach of the middle Rio Grande, evaluating lateral canal capacities for the Salt River Project, and doing an infrastructure assessment of the Middle Rio Grande Water Conservancy District for their Drought Contingency Plan.

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