Orland Project Distribution System Modernization

Client: Orland Unit Water Users’ Association (OUWUA) 

Funder: California Department of Water Resources  

Location: Orland, CA

Date: 2010 – 2013 and 2014 – 2018

Established in 1907, the Orland Project is the oldest Federal irrigation project in California and includes two dams (East Park and Stoney Gorge) and 156 miles of canals to irrigate approximately 20,000 acres in the Sacramento Valley near Orland. The OUWUA is the operating entity and, with a good water supply and fertile soils, the service area is a prized agricultural region. However, at more than 100 years old, much of the infrastructure is aged, inefficient, or not compatible with modern farming and irrigation practices that strive to maximize their ‘crop per drop.  

The Orland Project Distribution Modernization Projects were a multi-year, $5 million effort to improve distribution efficiency, water management, and delivery flexibility improvements to support more efficient on-farm water use. Features included a 49.5 acre-foot regulating reservoir, replacement of 35 water level control structures with long crested weirs, replacement of 18 lateral headgates with state-of-the art automated gates with accurate flow measurement and remote monitoring and control capabilities, automation of the North Main Canal headworks, and development of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system – housed at the OUWUA’s main office – for monitoring and control.

Ultimately, OUWUA reduced spills by 5,200 acre-feet annually, improved the efficiently and effectiveness at which the ever-changing demands of farmers and ranchers can be accommodated, and developing valuable water accounting and management tools.

All Projects

Tehama County Groundwater Sustainability Plan Implementation 

Colusa Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions

Madera Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions 

Chowchilla Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions

Moore Siphon Replacement Project

Dos Rios Ranch SB88 Compliance and Crop Planning Analysis

Hart Ranch On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Improvements

Orland Project Distribution System Modernization

Water Management Plan Compliance Mapping

Agricultural Development Feasibility Assessment

Analysis of Effects of Water Management on Evapotranspiration from Managed Wetlands

Garden Highway Mutual Water Company Water Control Projects

Richvale Irrigation District Phase I Infrastructure Modernization

Joint Water Districts Board SCADA

Sutter Mutual Water Company Modernization Support

Shasta Valley Groundwater Monitoring

Time Series Evapotranspiration and Applied Water Estimates from Remote Sensing

Customer Delivery Measurement Data Collection and Accounting (RemoteTracker Implementation)

SGMA Technical Support Services and Prop 1 Stressed Basin Grant Project

Efficiency Conservation Definite Plan and Conservation Program

Boundary Outflow Measurements

Oakdale Irrigation District Agricultural Water Management Plan

Yuba Water Agency Agricultural Water Managment Plan

Feather River Agricultural Water Management Plan (FRRAWMP)

Colusa Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Development

Madera and Chowchilla Subbasins Groundwater Sustainability Plans

2022 Verification Project for Madera County GSAs

Little Shasta River Efficiency Study

Mill Creek Flow Measurement Improvements

Kettle Spring Improvement Project

Antelope Creek Fish Passage Improvement Project

Conservation Planning and Operations Decision Support