Upper Elkhorn NRD

Ultrasonic Flow Meter

     Irrigation water not utilized by crops can leach to the groundwater, carrying with it agrichemicals and fertilizers.  Efficient irrigation management is necessary to increase application efficiency and reduce the potential for groundwater contamination.  One important aspect of irrigation management is determining irrigation well flow rates.  Flow rates can be used to estimate the amount of irrigation water applied when combined with system running time.  This information can be used to assist irrigation scheduling.

     Flow meters provide a means to determine the flow rate and flow volume of irrigation systems.  Many producers do not have flow meters, so they must rely on original well registration information.  Over time, flow rates can change due to many factors including water table fluctuations and normal wear and tear.  As a result, flow rates listed on original well registrations may not be accurate.  Thus, it is beneficial to monitor flow rates throughout the irrigation season to ensure that the proper amount of irrigation water is being applied.

     A portable ultrasonic flow meter is an effective educational and management tool.  The data it provides can help producers to increase irrigation application efficiency and reduce groundwater contamination.  It also provides up-to-date information about changes in flow rates.  This may give indications of whether or not a pump is operating efficiently.

     The Upper Elkhorn NRD has an ultrasonic flow meter available to assist irrigators in irrigation management.  If requested, an Upper Elkhorn NRD staff member can bring out the ultrasonic flow meter to measure the flow of an irrigation well to help cooperators better schedule their water application.

For further information or to request an application form contact
Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District
301 North Harrison Street
O'Neill, NE  68763

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Last updated 08/05/2009
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