Flexible Water Deliveries: One District's Experience

by Eric Swenson, (S.M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


The Merced Irrigation District (MID) has implemented two significant incentive programs in 1995 to provide surface irrigation water to farmers who have shifted to private wells for irrigation. Crops irrigated are primarily orchards with drip and micro-spray irrigation systems. The first program implemented was a Low Volume Incentive Program. Under this program, the MID has paid up to $495 per hm? ($200 per acre) to farmers for reimbursement of equipment needed to utilize surface water for drip, micro-spray, and subsurface tape irrigation systems. 485 hm? (1,200 acres) of farmland has been approved for connection under this program and most of these systems are operating. The second program being implemented, the Highlands Project consists of a pressurized, filtered water supply system which provides water ready for use by farmers who have formerly been using private wells for irrigation. This system already has 135 hm? (330 acres) of drip and micro-spray irrigated farmland signed up for service as well as 50 hm? (120 acres) of impact sprinklers.

Subject Headings: Irrigation systems | Agriculture | Trickle irrigation | Surface irrigation | Water supply systems | Surface water | Irrigation districts | California | United States

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