In 1999 Sutter Mutual Water Company (SMWC) began an effort to modernize its water-distribution system in an attempt to reduce operation and maintenance costs and conserve water and power resources. The primary technical support was provided by professionals from the Irrigation Training and Research Center (ITRC), California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo. Additional technical expertise was provided by Concepts in Controls of Visalia, California and Wilson Pumps of Woodland, California. This modernization project was partially funded by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), Mid-Pacific Region, Northern Area Office, though a Field Services Program Grant and technical support agreement with the ITRC. The effort encompassed two projects within the company’s service area located within the boundaries of California’s largest reclamation district, Reclamation District 1500. The projects were (1) the automation of a pumping plant at Portuguese Bend with a new Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) pump and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and (2) the demonstration of new SCADA-compatible electronic flow measurement technologies for both canals and pipelines. The anticipated, and ultimately realized, benefits of the modernization effort was a savings to the company due to a reduction in the amount of water diverted, power consumed and number of personnel required to operate and maintain its system.


Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering



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