Measure Any Flow With Watchman Flumes

How can large diversions be measured?  Long-throated flumes are a good option, especially if the ditch has low banks, or a lot of sediment or debris could clog a weir or orifice.  Premanufactured Parshall or Replogle flumes go up to around 20 cubic feet per second (9,000 gallons per minute).  If they are made for larger flows than that, they are prohibitively expensive to ship or manufacture.

Watchman 10 cfs flume

Recently, though, Watchman long-throated flumes have become available.  They are made in Northern California, so shipping costs are lower.  They typically go up to 20 cubic feet per second in size, but I have installed a 30-cfs Watchman flume.  The manufacturer can easily make larger-capacity flumes, too – standard plans go up to 60 cfs, and they can be shipped in ready-to-assemble sections for up to 200 cfs.

Watchman flumes are made of 10-gauge steel, a little thicker than 1/8 inch.  The premanufactured flumes I have seen ship from outside the state are made of 16-gauge steel, which is about 1/16″ thick.  These can work well if care is taken during installation, but the Watchman’s heavier gauge steel can withstand more backfill and rougher treatment.  They’ll last longer, too.

Watchman 20 cfs flume

What about cost?  It turns out that Watchman flumes are about the same cost per cubic foot per second, as flumes made from lighter-gauge steel.  Some farmers and ranchers like concrete better than steel.  Watchman flumes can be built inside Briggs pre-cast concrete rice boxes and weir boxes, if you need an installation to last for 30 years or more.

Where can you buy these?  The manufacturer does not advertise – let me know and I can put you in touch with them.

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Update – Worried about SB 88? That’s the problem I solve for you!

Worried about SB 88?  That’s what this blog is for!  Here is where you will find information you need, and can put to use, on selecting and installing flow measurement devices.  If you need help, Rights To Water Engineering can help you meet the law quickly and at a relatively low cost.  (530) 526-0134

California Senate Bill 88 is effective as of January 1, 2016.  Here is the part that affects private or small agricultural diverters the most:

SB88_Art3_Clip

Here is a convenient table that summarizes the Water Board‘s more specific regulations.  I added the two columns on the right to give folks an idea of how the volumes relate to water rights:

SWRCB Measurement and Recording Requirements for 2017 (diverters exempted where Watermaster reports)
SWRCB Measurement and Recording Requirements for 2017 (diverters exempted where Watermaster reports)

SB-88 Compliance Information, Nice to Meet Diverters at the NCWA / Farm Bureau / Cattleman Meeting Last Night

Good morning, California diverters.  It was great to meet you folks last night in Hat Creek!  Thank you to Henry and Pam Giacomini and Mark and Debbie Bidwell for inviting me up to the combined meeting of the Northeastern California Water Association, Farm Bureau, and Cattlemen’s and Cattlewomen’s Associations.

This blog is to help solve diverters’ headaches by providing peace of mind and helping stay out of trouble.  Here are some posts aiming to do just that:

https://allwaterrights.com/2016/07/25/can-you-save-some-bucks-flow-device-economics-by-dwr/

https://allwaterrights.com/2016/07/07/how-do-i-comply-with-water-board-regulations/

https://allwaterrights.com/2016/07/08/how-do-i-comply-with-water-board-regulations-part-2/

https://allwaterrights.com/2016/07/21/how-do-i-comply-with-water-board-regulations-part-3/

https://allwaterrights.com/2016/06/02/can-i-lose-my-water-right/

https://allwaterrights.com/2016/05/14/do-something-wrong-instead-of-nothing/

https://allwaterrights.com/2016/05/02/working-with-regulators-dealing-with-bureaucrats/

https://allwaterrights.com/2016/03/17/demo-measuring-weir-and-orifice-who-to-call-at-the-board/

The links above will get you halfway to knowing what to do to comply.  The other half is in other blog posts, on water flow measurement devices, how to measure flow, and other topics.  Have a great day and rest of the week!

Why Should I Measure Flows If My Neighbors Don’t?

Why should I measure my surface water diversions if others on the same stream do not?

Unmeasured_Ditch

Installation of a device costs time and money, maybe thousands of dollars and a few days plus the use of a loader.  Sometimes the unspoken question is, if I am getting more than my water right, why should I hold myself to just diverting what is legally mine?  None of the readers of this blog would ask that, but some others out there might.

This is something like the question, why should I drive the speed limit if some or most oCHP_resizedf the other drivers are speeding?  We have all seen the answer – speeders eventually get pulled over by police or highway patrol, while those who stay close to the speed limit generally get left alone.  I’ll bet that you’re like me- I am a lot more relaxed after driving within the limits, then if I put the pedal to the metal and get somewhere an hour earlier.

50 years ago, many diversions were in the middle of nowhere and the only way there was past a protective landowner or manager.  Now roads have pushed out to the middle of nowhere and so have Google Earth, recent aerial mapping, government regulations, and government employees.

Shawn_Sticking_Weir

In the world of water diversions, the water district, ditch tender, watermaster, or Water Board folks know who is complying with the law and who is not.  The one who has a measurement device and stays within his water rights tends to get left alone.  On the other hand, the law-abiding diverter gets listened to more when he or she complains that he’s not getting the water he should.winning-trophy

Social influence – peer pressure – also come into play after the first person on a stream installs and starts using a measurement device.  The fact that a neighbor invested and did the right thing to comply with water laws encourages other diverters to do the same.  Or at least, the water right holders who don’t have a weir or meter can see that it is inevitable and they’ll be more readily convinced to do the same.

Sometimes a diverter is not getting thesunflower full water right, even though he thinks he is.  In this case, being able to measure the water means being able to demonstrate that when the diversion is increased, it is still within the legal amount. I have seen this happen a few times, and the result is a rancher or farmer who is a whole lot happier than he or she was last week!

Summary of Water Rights, Flow Measurement Posts So Far

There have been 25 posts so far, on the types of California surface water rights, flow measurement devices, and how to measure diverted flows.  You’ll see new posts once or twice a week.  Please send suggestions for post topics!  We have discussed:

  1. All Water Rights, California
  2. Read Me My Rights (How do you know if you have a water right?)
  3. Reasonable And Beneficial Use Depends On Who You Are
  4. The Smartest Water Expert In California (Chuck Rich)
  5. Riparian Rules by Chuck Rich
  6. Water Rights – Why Do They Exist? Which Kinds Are There?
  7. Water Rights And Engineers
  8. California Water Right Holders Now Required To Have Measuring Device
  9. What Is Your Place Of Use?  (Where can you legally use your right?)
  10. Places Of Use – Adjudicated (Decreed) In The State Superior Court
  11. A Place For Permits And Licenses (Places of Use)
  12. Nothing Secret About It  (This is all public information.)
  13. Quick Change of Subjects: What’s a Water Right Permit Cost?
  14. Life Of Reilly: If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It!
  15. How to Divide Up a Decreed Water Right – Part 1
  16. How to Divide Up a Decreed Water Right – Part 2
  17. Weirs – Planning, Building, Measuring Flows
  18. From weir to orifice in only an hour
  19. Chilean Water Rights at (darn near) the Driest Place on Earth
  20. Some Hope in Rain and Snow Totals
  21. Is John Stealing Water?? Orifices – Right Size and How to Measure
  22. Worried about SB 88? That’s what this blog is for! Get a device in, send a photo to the Board, record and report your diversions
  23. Flumes – installing for decades of flow measurement, Part 1
  24. Simple Weirs and Orifices, on video, and in photos!
  25. Diverters must report weekly, daily, or HOURLY starting 2017!

Worried about SB 88? That’s what this blog is for! Get a device in, send a photo to the Board, record and report your diversions

Worried about SB 88?  That’s what this blog is for!  Read here to select a flow measurement device, install it, send a photo to the Board, record your flows, and report them as required.  You will find most or all of the information you need in here.  If you need help, Rights To Water Engineering can help you meet the law quickly and at a relatively low cost.  (530) 526-0134

California Senate Bill 88 is effective as of January 1, 2016, 11 days ago as of this posting.  Here is the part that affects private or small agricultural diverters the most:

SB88_Art3_Clip