Flow Meter Monitoring Increasingly Important for Commercial Growers

Blueberries grown with precision irrigationGrowers across the country are being faced with increasing legislation that requires the monitoring of water use. In the West, droughts and environmental regulation have put farmers in the hot-seat for submitting accurate water use data to an assortment of government entities, with potential for steep fines for those who are unable to comply.

Case and point, Capital Press recently reported on a Washington state berry grower who was fined $102,000 by the Washington Department of Ecology for illegal irrigation and failure to submit water use data at two of his farms. Authorities were alerted to the illegal irrigation by concerned citizens and other water rights holders, who believed he was using more than his allocated amount and jeopardizing water flows in a nearby river.

Flow Meter MonitoringAccording to a press release issued by the Washington Department of Ecology, $12,000 of the fine incurred was for “failing to submit accurate water use data” on a 120-acre blueberry farm. The grower submitted calculations on water use, but after finding the calculations inaccurate based on site visits, Department of Ecology “repeatedly asked for real meter data,” which he could not provide.

Water use and flow-meter monitoring aren’t going away. To help make water monitoring and reporting that much easier for our customers, Hortau now offers real-time flow meter monitoring stations that send data directly to our web-based Irrolis software in real time. Having water-use data sent to the cloud in real time prevents growers from having to read and calculate meter data manually,  freeing them up to work on more pressing matters on their operation.

With Hortau, growers can access flow-meter and water use data 24/7 and can export said data in the form of a spreadsheet with the click of a button. Additionally, Hortau’s Complete Service Solution includes system installation, maintenance and training to ensure that growers receive the most accurate and reliable meter data.

To learn more about Hortau’s real-time platform, visit our flow meter monitoring and reporting page or call us at (805) 545-5994 to speak with a local irrigation management specialist.