New water management system for South San Joaquin Irrigation District


Jeff Shields,
General Manager,
Manteca, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 30, 2009 – South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID) has deployed smart grid technology provider BPL Global’s Power SG® integrated water and energy management solution, improving water delivery efficiency and water accounting as well as minimizing the electricity required for water services.

Initial results demonstrate a minimum of 10 percent improvement in water accounting and have set the stage for use of the irrigation pumps in SSJID’s electricity demand response program, the company says in a statement.

Electricity required for the treatment and delivery of water accounts for as much as 80 percent of its cost, according to Sandia National Laboratories. With increasing demand for water and electricity, there is a global challenge to sustain reliable, affordable, and predictable supplies of water and electricity.

“Adding integrated monitoring and control capability transforms our ability to manage water and energy as scarce resources,” said Jeff Shields, general manager of SSJID. “The Power SG solution has delivered immediate water and energy benefits and has improved operations as well as increased the reliability of our pumping assets. More efficient use of water for agricultural irrigation today ultimately saves our customers money and provides more water for other beneficial uses.”

SSJID provides water services for agricultural irrigation and domestic water in the South San Joaquin Valley. The water management system, which includes enterprise class software, a 5.8 GHz communications network, water quality sensors and pump control interfaces, was deployed to improve water services for agricultural irrigation customers.

The solution provides SSJID with real time remote monitoring and control capability for pumping stations spread throughout the water district. Water quality of each well and critical operational parameters of each pump is monitored. Real time, secure communications with pumping stations enables centralized control of water delivery and real time decisions to optimize operations. Significant gains were realized, including optimizing the use of both ground and surface water supplies and saving energy by delivering the exact amounts of water with the required quality to the precise locations at the right time.

SSJID recently completed a 1.4 MW solar farm that provides nearly all the electricity to run its water treatment plant, saving the district over $400,000 annually in power costs. The solar farm is thought to be the world’s first single-axis solar tracking system featuring thin-film photovoltaic cells. For several years, the district has been moving towards providing retail electric service as well, aiming to cut electricity bills of those in its service territory by a minimum of 15 percent across the board.