Methods of measuring volumes of water withdrawn from the Snake River and its tributaries and pumped through closed-conduit irrigation systems were needed for equitable management of and resolution of conflicts over water use. On the basis of evaluations and field tests by researchers from the University of Idaho, Water Resources Research Institute, Moscow, Idaho, an impeller meter was selected to monitor pumpage through closed-conduit systems. In 1988, impeller meters were installed at 20 pumping stations along the Snake River between the Upper Salmon Falls and C.J. Strike Dams. Impeller-derived pumpage data were adjusted if they differed substantially from ultrasonic flow-meter- or current-meter-derived values. Comparisons of pumpage data obtained by ultrasonic flow-meter and current-meter measurements indicated that the ultrasonic flow meter was a reliable means to check operation of impeller meters. The equipment generally performed satisfactorily, and reliable pumpage data could be obtained using impeller meters in closed-conduit irrigation systems. Many pumping stations that divert water from the Snake River for irrigation remain unmeasured; however, regression analyses indicate that total pumpage can be reasonably estimated on the basis of electrical power consumption data, an approximation of total head at a pumping station, and a derived coefficient.
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Methods of measuring pumpage through closed-conduit irrigation systems