Environmental Water Stewardship

Serving stewards of western water since 1993.

At Davids Engineering we are dedicated to the idea that agricultural sustainability is best achieved through the dual goals of (1) enhancing the productivity and profitability of agricultural enterprise and (2) improving environmental stewardship. We have experienced firsthand the challenges confronting irrigated agriculture as western states continue to grow, competition for limited water supplies increases, and public values change. We are committed to helping agricultural water suppliers and farmers address those challenges in a strategic, positive manner by seeking appropriate, responsible balances between commercial agricultural enterprise and environmental stewardship.

Our efforts in this space often include one or more of the following:
Reliable monitoring and insightful interpretation of environmental data is foundational to water resource management: establishing historical baselines, identifying trends, designing and implementing adaptive management programs, and developing numerical models.
We use state-of-the-art water measurement and environmental monitoring technology to collect reliable, meaningful data custom tailored to address specific water management issues. We are dedicated to helping irrigation water suppliers and other water resource managers strengthen their water management capabilities through improved water measurement, environmental monitoring, and data management. The result is cost-effective, unbiased, and accurate data that can be trusted. Our environmental monitoring efforts typically include one or more of the following:

•Flow Measurement
•Groundwater Monitoring
•Surveying and Mapping
•Water Quality
Livestock ranches have many and multi-faceted water needs, requiring unique water management plans that are mindful of the balance between livestock watering, forage and pasture irrigation, and other water uses, as well as interest in protecting streamflow and maintaining groundwater sustainability. Davids Engineering has tackled these topics and more in the ranch management plans developed for clients in the Shasta Valley. These plans have investigated opportunities to improve irrigation practices in a manner that would allow sustained livestock production while also helping ranches reduce diversions and pumping to preserve streamflow and groundwater supplies. Typical components of these plans include:

•Design and implementation of monitoring programs to quantify surface water and groundwater usage
•Studies of distribution and irrigation system efficiency and losses
•Hydrogeologic investigations to assess potential groundwater production
•Development of ranch water balances
•Formulation of water management measures (practices and facilities)
Modern stock watering systems allow our clients to enhance their water stewardship by reducing waste and supplying water on-demand through innovative distribution systems that supply drinking water to troughs over large grazing areas. Our customized stock water system designs have been created to retrofit existing wells and water supply sources with new, more efficient pumps, and to replace leaky, inefficient, earthen conveyance ditches with pipelines. In past systems, we have also integrated dedicated supply lines into the stock water systems that provide water to support seasonal wildlife habitat. These design elements are thoughtfully planned to maximize our clients’ water use efficiency, enabling more focused and efficient livestock production while also supporting important environmental water uses.
Fish screens and fish passage improvement projects complement other infrastructure modernization efforts by preventing fish from entering distribution and irrigation infrastructure and by allowing fish easier passage along waterways for migration, spawning, and rearing. Davids Engineering has worked with several clients to design effective, low maintenance fish passage improvements that benefit all fish, including federally-listed Chinook salmon and Steelhead. Designs have included the installation of new linear, flat-plate fish screens and fish bypass returns that significantly reduce maintenance, monitoring, and the need for manually rescuing and returning trapped fish to waterways. We have also modified fish ladders to allow easier migration around dams and other water impoundment facilities. Our retrofit designs of existing diversion facilities protect fish populations from entrapment and entrainment, while also improving the accuracy, precision, and timing of irrigation diversions by our clients.
Modernization of water diversion infrastructure is often a crucial step in the dual management of agricultural and environmental water uses. In many cases, older irrigation diversion infrastructure is not compatible with effective instream flow and habitat management along waterways. Innovative solutions are required to allow water rights users to exercise their irrigation diversion rights while also maintaining steady and dedicated flow to waterways, significantly minimizing the risk of fish entrainment or entrapment in the diversion or irrigation system. Davids Engineering has designed custom diversion improvements that manage the many interests and needs of our clients, providing for:

• Regulation of water level at the point of diversion to provide sufficient head pressure and flow to the distribution or irrigation system.
• Provision of priority discharges to waterways to guarantee instream flows.
• Allowance of adjustable flow controls that passively (i.e. not requiring operator input) and automatically discharge excess flows and of non-irrigation period flows to waterways.
• Exclusion of fish from the diversion infrastructure and distribution or irrigation system.
• Low maintenance operation.

Environmental Water Stewardship Projects

Little Shasta River Efficiency Study

Mill Creek Flow Measurement Improvements

Kettle Spring Improvement Project

Antelope Creek Fish Passage Improvement Project