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Use of sophisticated state-of-art SCADA system for very efficient automated irrigation operations on 22,070 acres of agroforestry




Mohamed, Nabil, author
U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisher

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Along the mighty Columbia River in Eastern Oregon, U.S.A, in an area with less than 8 inches of total annual precipitation, exists the world's largest contiguous drip irrigated tree farm project. This Potlatch Corporation Western White Poplar Project (WWPP) uses high level automated technology to produce solid wood on a national and international certified sustainable rate. The project's 6,000,000 fast-growing desert hardwood trees (Western White Poplar) on 17,300 acres are irrigated by a massive and very complex automated water distribution system. Additionally the irrigation system also supplies water to other crops on 4,770 acres under pivot irrigation. Irrigation pumping energy costs are the major operational cost of tree production on this project; so a very determined effort is made to operate the irrigation system in an efficient and cost effective manner. The only economical and efficient way to irrigate this very large and complex project is by the use of an advanced customized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. This State-of-Art SCADA system controls and monitors all pumps, individual fields, sensors and center pivots. This SCADA system makes the WWPP one of the most advanced automated large-scale drip irrigation farm projects in U.S.A., if not in the world. Additionally for the past decade, it has sustained its position as the world leader in large scale drip irrigation efficiency.


Presented at SCADA and related technologies for irrigation district modernization, II: a USCID water management conference held on June 6-9, 2007 in Denver, Colorado.

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