Improved Water Management, Measurement, and Accounting for Carlsbad Irrigation District (NM)

WEST assisted CID with a WaterSmart Grant to improve their ability to manage irrigation water deliveries to users. CID did not have remote monitoring of water levels or flows within the system. This made it difficult for CID managers to evaluate the performance of water deliveries to water users. Some of the water measurement structures were in bad repair and were not accurate. All this made it difficult for management to determine locations where canal losses occured, and whether those losses were from seepage, excess delivery, or spills. The result was that operators were not able to maintain constant water levels within the canal. This made maintaining constant flow to lateral canals difficult. The project gave CID some basic tools, from which they can begin to improve operations.

The main features of this project include:

  • Two Parshall flumes, not in proper repair, were modified into long-throated flumes
  • Four new flow measurement structures were constructed at key sites
  • New wall gauges, marked in discharge unit were purchased
  • A SCADA System was implemented with 14 remote sites and a base station
  • Water measurements were made at remote sites with a pressure-transducer bubbler system
  • Canal water levels measurement at key sites
  • The measurements provide water budget information for the all main canals
  • Information on water levels and flow rates were provided on the District’s web site
  • Analysis of System losses can be made based on information collected by the SCADA system


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