Using technology pioneered by the Australian company Rubicon Water in response to their millennium drought, the system automatically regulates canal flow to minimize operational water losses. In choosing to install this system on a TID canal, the District is not only showing its dedication to preventing water losses on our canal system, but its desire to improve irrigation services to its customers.
Lateral 8 was previously operated utilizing a series of weirs and manually operated board bays, referred to as drops, to regulate flow and water level through the canal. When service flows were moved from one pool to another, any excess water resulting from imperfect transfer of the flow would run down to the bottom of the canal and spill to a natural watercourse.
The most important distinction between the old system and the Total Channel Control System is that in the old system, water levels in the pools were controlled by the downstream drops. The Total Channel Control System operates by having each upstream drop control the water level in the pool downstream. Changes in a pool level result in changes in flow and level upstream of the pool rather than downstream.
Thus, water that would have normally spilled from the bottom is instead diverted upstream to the Lateral 8 Regulating Reservoir where it is stored for future use.
Due to its proximity to the Lateral 8 Regulating Reservoir and the fact that managing the lower end of the system is extremely challenging for both TID and its growers, this site is an ideal location for a pilot project.
TID is considering other locations in the District for potential reservoirs and TCC projects.