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Implementing Total Channel Control® technology at Oakdale Irrigation District - case study




Knell, Steve, author
Davids, John, author
U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisher

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Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) is a 72,345 acre irrigation district located in both the northeast foothills and valley floor of the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. OID has a 12 year history of marketing conserved water to willing buyers and using that revenue to finance capital improvements. Those revenues are used in a self-perpetuating program to rehabilitate, modernize and furthermore water conservation in order to generate and market more water. Those efforts have served OID well, generating some $41.2 million in water transfer revenues since 1998. As its next tier of conservation projects, OID and Rubicon Systems America Inc. (Rubicon) embarked on a demonstration project to bring Total Channel Control® (TCC) Technology to the OID delivery system. The OID system is a 100 year old gravity flow system delivering about 250,000 acre feet per year to a mix of irrigated pasture, almonds, walnuts, rice and both small ranchette and large agricultural field sizes. All these variables lead to difficulty in the efficient management of irrigation water. To address these issues with modern technology, a $3 million project was agreed upon by Rubicon and OID. The coordinated in-house constructed and managed project involved the replacement of 28 check structures and the design and installation of 31 gates on the 6.5 mile Claribel Lateral and the 8.5 mile Cometa Lateral. The works of improvement were completed during the winter of 2010/2011. This paper will detail some of the institutional challenges, technological hurdles and construction experiences learned during the implementation of this project.


Presented at Irrigated agriculture responds to water use challenges - strategies for success: USCID water management conference held on April 3-6, 2012 in Austin, Texas.

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