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Moderately priced SCADA implementation




Smith, Stephen W., author
Magnuson, Donald O., author
U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisher

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In northeastern Colorado, and many other western states, mutual irrigation companies have functioned effectively in delivering raw water for agriculture since the late 1800's. Mutual irrigation companies are shareholder organizations that hold the decree or decrees and were mostly farmer financed initially and even to this day. As many of these canals are modernized, an appropriate technology for consideration is Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) to provide either monitoring or both monitoring and control of canal operations from a centralized location. Data and information such as canal flows and reservoir storage data can also be easily posted to the canal company’s web site for management and shareholder access. SCADA systems were once perceived to be too costly for most mutual irrigation companies but the hardware and software is increasing in function, decreasing in cost, and becoming much more affordable for these private enterprise situations. The opportunity, the costs, and the benefits of SCADA for mutual irrigation companies are explored in this paper. Several case studies are cited. In particular, the efforts of the New Cache La Poudre Irrigating Company are described to include SCADA implementation for both initial monitoring of flows and later to include remote manual gate actuation. SCADA implementation by Riverside Irrigation District is also described in which a satellite uplink is used to keep costs reasonable to the District.


Presented at SCADA and related technologies for irrigation district modernization: a USCID water management conference on October 26-29, 2005 in Vancouver, Washington.

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