Ag Water Management Plan and Flow Measurement Plan


Owner: Yuba County Water Agency
Sacramento Valley, California
Funding Source: Yuba County Water Agency
Completion Date: Ongoing

Daguerre Point Dam.

Over the past year, Davids Engineering has been assisting Yuba County Water Agency (Agency) with the development of its first Agricultural Water Management Plan (AWMP), including a number of related investigations that support plan development and augment Agency’s broader integrated water management program. The Agency is unique from an agricultural water supply perspective in that it provides wholesale water delivery to eight Member Units who in turn provide retail service to local farmers. Four Member Units are located on the north side of the Yuba River and four on the south side.

The foundational supporting investigation consists of detailed water balances for the north side and south side service areas, respectively. The balances were designed in consultation with Agency staff, taking into consideration both the purposes of the AWMP and the availability of historical data. The balances provide a basis for assessing historical operations and identifying opportunities to enhance water management effectiveness. While assembling data for the water balances, Davids Engineering reviewed and assessed the Agency’s existing water information system platform and provided recommendations for expanding the utility of the system by entering additional water delivery data and groundwater levels and developing applications for producing management reports that are presently prepared manually. Additional recommendations were provided with respect to the Agency’s data quality control and management processes.

Irrigation delivery to rice field in YCWA.

Davids Engineering conducted a comprehensive assessment of existing flow measurement facilities and practices and developed a range of options with associated cost estimates for the Agency to consider for complying with new customer delivery measurement and reporting regulations stemming from the Water Conservation Act passed by the California legislature in 2009. The assessment provided the Agency with the information needed to identify the most cost-effective means of compliance. This work included evaluation of the most cost effective means of data retrieval, leading to a decision to improve measurement sites so that they are SCADA-ready now and can be SCADA-equipped as and when funding becomes available. Remote acquisition of measurement data is desired to enhance real-time operation of Agency and Member Unit water distribution facilities and generate high quality historical data for system analysis. The culmination of this work will be a Water Measurement Improvement Plan that will guide the Agency’s investments in flow measurement upgrades over time.

In consultation with Agency staff, Davids Engineering is evaluating the Agency’s existing water management practices in relation to the Efficient Water Management Practices (EWMPs) that must be considered in preparing the Agency’s AWMP, according to Water Code section 10608.48.