Paul Wells, Water Board Main Contact, Has New Job / Diversion Forms Deadlines Delayed

Well, rats, the main contact for (non-Delta) Water Board Enforcement issues, Paul Wells, found a better job at my old agency, DWR.  Hopefully someone will be, or already is, appointed in his place to help Kathy Mrowka.  I missed his auto-reply because it went into the wrong email folder – here it is:

“Wells, Paul@Waterboards via
Jan 19, 2017


My last day at the Division of Water Rights was January 6, 2017.

If you need assistance regarding the measurement and monitoring requirements, please contact Kathy Mrowka at

If you need assisance with any other issue related to the Division of Water Rights, please call 916-341-5300

If you would like to contact me, my new email address at the Department of Water Resources is


Paul Wells”


The Water Board made a slight update to report filing deadlines on February 6.  For the biggest diversions, over 1,000 acre-feet per year, deadlines for forms:

  • Request for Additional Time
  • Measurement Method
  • Alternative Compliance Plan

are pushed back to April 1 for Permits and Licenses, July 1 for Statements.  The device installation deadline is still January 30, BUT, since the Request for Additional Time deadline is later, then the effective device installation deadline must be AFTER April 1.  I don’t know whether pressure from ranchers and farmers made the difference (seems likely), or if the Water Board is just inundated with too much information.

Feb. 6, 2017 Water Board Update on Filing Deadlines

Mccrometer Mc Mag 3000 Saddle Flow Meter, 4″ to 12″ Pipelines; Sontek IQ For Larger

 In this post I am highlighting the McCrometer Mc Mag 3000 flow meter for pipelines.  I don’t have a lot of detail here, so I will update this a couple of times before mid-February.mccrometer_mcmag_3000_webpage

Most of the flow measurement devices I have talked about in this blog are for use in ditches, and include weirs, orifimccrometer_mcmag_3000_webpage_applcnsces, and flumes.  These devices are the standard lower-cost devices that are relatively easy to install.  All of these devices require a separate, specially installed data collector to record stage (water surface elevation) so flow can be computed from the data.

What if your flow already runs through a level length of pipe?  You have many, many options from manufacturers.  There are propellor, magnetic, and acoustic meters, with integrated data collectors, that bolt up or strap on.  Most magnetic and acoustic meters require external power, but some run on batteries, and an increasing number have battery options.  Within a few hours any full pipeline that is straight and level, and has 10 to 20 pipe diameters of straight pipe upstream of the meter, and 10 pipe diameters downstream of the meter, can have one of these devices installed and operating.mccrometer_mcmag_3000_webpage_features

Note the “level and full” restriction – there are meters that can handle sloped and/or partly full pipelines, but they are more expensive.  Usually it is less expensive to insert (or add to the end) a section of level pipeline that will always be full.

What do these cost?  I have not asked about every possible pipe dmccrometer_mcmag_3000_webpage_techspecsiameter, but I think the cost range for 4″ to 12″ pipes is around $1,400 to $3,000, before tax, shipping, and installation costs.  That’s a reasonable price for a quick-to-install device that measure up to about 5 cfs in a 12″ pipe.  McCrometer even has a “how-to” video on their website, for the physical part of the installation.

What if you have a larger pipeline?  The SonTek-IQ may be a better solution – the pipe version of this flow meter and data logger can handle pipes as small as 18 inches in diameter, up to 16 feet (!).  This is an acoustic Doppler meter, rather than magnetic sensing with the McMag 3000.  There is an open channel version of the IQ, too, which installs in the bottom of a canal.

For larger or more irregular channels, Sontek-SL, which is a side-looking acoustic Doppler.  the SonTek acoustic equipment is a costlier solution for small-diameter pipes – the cost range for the SonTek equipment is $8,200 to $9,200.  For a larger pipe, canal, or natural channel up to 66 feet wide, this is a very cost-effective solution.  We’ll talk more about the SonTek equipment in later posts.

Thank God for all the rain and snow!  As of today, California is still having record rainfall and a near-record snowpack, through February 2.  Have a good night, all.