Farmore of Idaho

Flow Meters on Ground Water Pumps

February 21, 2018

Farmers, you’re running out of time to install your mandatory flow meters.

In 2016, Idaho Department of Water Resources made it mandatory to put flow meters on all deep wells on the Snake River Aquifer. These meters have to be installed before the water is turned on in spring of 2018, or farmers will be subject to fines.

Spring is almost here, so if you haven’t installed your flow meters yet, now is the time. The order serves to replace previous measurement orders imposed by individual ESPA water districts from 2001 through 2013. The inconsistent language of these orders were overly lenient and granted exceptions to many growers. The new order will allow power calculations only under the simplest scenarios, and will create a standard for accurate measurement across the board.

This new settlement will require groundwater users to reduce their annual water consumption by 240,000 acre-feet, and accurate measurements from flow meters are essential for success. Farmers can benefit from flow meters, as well, because they allow them to have better control over water management for crops.

The Idaho Department of Water Resources has provided a list of approved meters. The IDWR tested these meters for performance in two areas: “accuracy of +/-2% flow rate over the entire range of tested flows, and repeatability of +/-0.5% defined as the percent deviation of flow rate from average accuracy at each data point.” Before you select a meter, review the IDWR list completely to choose the model that suits your needs.

Have questions about the mandatory flow meters for your ground water pumps? We’re happy to answer them! Give us a call at 208-324-3341 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday to Friday.