Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2006-07 Deliverables

Task 1 Extension
Principal Investigator(s): Guy Fipps

We mutually agree for Guy Fipps to deliver the following during the period of June 1, 2006, to May 31, 2007, using funds from the Rio Grande Basin Initiative:

Task 1: Irrigation District Studies

  1. Print new fact sheets on use of GIS in irrigation district management, seepage loss measurement and canal automation.
  2. Make maps and GIS databases available to irrigation districts, consulting firms and public agencies.
  3. Respond to requests from individual districts for assistance on completing project applications by analyzing the conditions, water losses and potential water savings.
  4. Publish a report that provides an overview of all automation projects implement in and/or by districts.
  5. Provide technical assistance to districts as requested in rehabilitation project planning and documentation of resulting water savings.
  6. Continue the water measurement and canal management demonstration program with Delta Lake Irrigation District to reduce operational losses and to improve water delivery at the farm turnout. Develop the procedures so that the program can be expanded to other districts.
  7. Continue the canal automation demonstrations in Delta Lake and United irrigation districts by equipping two gates with automatic control and telemetry equipment.  Develop the computer software and database interfaces to facilitate use in day to day management of district.
  8. Based on available funding, implement additional canal automation and telemetry projects in districts (see attached sheet for details and budget requirements. Likely districts include Hudspeth, Los Fresnos, United, San Juan, Delta Lake and Mercedes which would cover a wide variety of applications including automatic gates and flow monitoring. Develop software interface and instruct district personnel on use of equipment and information for improved district management. If funding is available expand demonstrations to another two districts. For the smaller districts, provide complete funding for demonstrations. For the larger districts, require cost sharing at about 50 percent of total costs. Work in Hudspeth to be done cooperatively with Dr. Sing.
  9. Develop a new fact sheet on "the Selection and Use of Flow Monitoring Structures."

Task 2: Irrigation Education and Training

  1. Develop a new short course for landscape irrigators on GPS. Begin offering two new courses: Landscape Water Budgeting and Site Mapping using GIS-web based resources.
  2. Reformat Water Budgeting course for CD/Web delivery with the target audience municipal water supply companies, city conservation departments and public agencies involved in urban water conservation and planning.
  3. Offer at least three short courses in the Rio Grande Basin.
  4. Support three local networks and TexasET Web pages for LRGV, El Paso and the San Antonio/Uvalde areas.
  5. Continue revamping TexasET by creating user profiles and logins, and automatic emails with personalized ET and irrigation recommendations. Create interactive calculators and graphs for e-mail delivery. Set up profiles for the following clientele: homeowners, growers, public officials and local media.
  6. Develop a real time, interactive/automatic crop water requirements algorithm for use in online ET Networks. The algorithm will allow the user to input his actual planting date and length of each crop growth stage. Initial crops to be implemented are cotton, corn, sorghum, peanuts and citrus.
  7. Complete construction of the rainout shelter and provide technical support for the turf drought recovery study. Develop and implement rules and algorithms to govern the automatic deployment and retraction of the shelter. Experiment with locations of rainfall gages for triggering deployment of shelter.
  8. Develop a program guide for conducting ET Controller Demonstrations ("smart controllers") for use by county Extension agents. Verify the procedures through the ET Controller project in San Antonio conducted in cooperation with BexarMet and SAWS. Publish a report on the effectiveness and end-user satisfaction of the controllers based on the first year results.
  9. Develop joint training materials with the Center for Education and Assistance in Irrigation, Guanajuato, Mexico. Training materials will be in English and Spanish with the workshops offered in Texas and Mexico.
  10. Develop a report highlighting the irrigation programs of the Ag Program.
  11. Develop a training program and manual in drip irrigation for growers. Offer a field trip for interested growers to the Garden City area to learn drip irrigation installation and operational procedures. Use the field trip to help develop plans for a drip training facility to provide hand-on training on a continuous basis.
  12. Develop web-based tools to support irrigation water management demonstrations by county Extension agents to include automatic graphs of soil moisture status and crop water demand. Test the effectiveness of these tools through on-farm demonstration in cooperation with agents and Task 4 participants.

Task 3: Institutional Incentives for Efficient Water Use

  1. Examine the use of thermal imaging flyovers for detecting leaks in underground pipelines. Publish a report summarizing the results and practicality of use of thermal imaging for detecting leaks in canals.
  2. Examine the use of electrical conductivity (EC) for assessing canal seepage in cooperation with USGS and Dr. Sing.
  3. Continue work on development and implementation of a model database with Prologic Corp. and Delta Lake and San Juan irrigation districts. Migrate existing district data over to new database structure as required by new district software.
  4. Develop web-based account access and ordering system for integration with new district software and implement in Delta Lake, San Juan and United Irrigation Districts.
  5. Test new GIS technologies available for online information delivery for use by district clientele.
  6. Continue the evaluation and documentation of the water savings benefits of implemented rehabilitation projects through periodic documentation of durability and other factors.  Publish a report summarizing the first 2 year results.
  7. Test procedures for calibrating gates/control structures to improve district water management. For calibrated structures, install staff gages and develop rating curves for use by district personnel. Train district personnel on use for improved canal management.   Publish interim report summarizing procedures and acceptance by canal riders.
  8. Continue the development of the RAT (rapid assessment tool – a combination of surveys, and cost-effective direct measurements for prioritizing district rehabilitation projects on projected water savings) by concentrating this years efforts on evaluating spill losses and solutions.
  9. Continue the evaluation of satellite imagery to analyze trends in land-use as an aid in region rehabilitation project planning.
  10. In cooperation with Great Plains Meter, Inc., expand to demonstrate the effectiveness of permanent on-farm flow meters equipped with telemetry back to the District headquarters.
  11. Conduct a flow measurement and automation workshop and field day tour of canal automation projects.
  12. Support graduate student research into the effects of aquatic vegetation on flow in canals.  Construct an artificial channel at the Weslaco Center and conduct controlled experiments.
Back to Top