The SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) System Department monitors and maintains nearly five hundred field sites over approximately 100 miles to provide accurate and reliable real-time data for operational purposes and long-term projections. Radio Telemetry Units (RTU) are installed at various locations that communicate using UHF radio frequency line of sight paths that require several mountain repeater sites to ensure timely data.
Our system polls each site every 30 minutes to achieve near real-time monitoring of all water activity within our District's boundaries. EBID management and personnel utilize this water data to improve on-farm delivery efficiency. The primary goal of SCADA Systems is the monitoring, analysis, and reporting of Rio Grande Project surface water. Data collected via RTU sites is used to accurately track the release, diversion, and distribution of surface water allotment to our farmers.
EBID monitors all surface water starting with the river release from Caballo Dam, several Rio Grande River stations, and EBID Diversions into our north, central, and south delivery systems. Once the water is in our canal system, flow and gauge monitoring continues for main canal check structures, lateral turnout headings, lateral spillways, and drain returns to the river. Data is used to accurately track the District's surface water allotment to our farmers. Providing real-time data is essential to field personnel and improves water delivery efficiency throughout the District.
Recently, EBID has made a concentrated effort to implement gate automation at critical sites requiring a constant water level to ensure consistent delivery. Several heading sites have been upgraded and our focus has now turned to internal canal check structures to implement gate automation control.
Shallow groundwater elevation levels are monitored in the Rincon and Mesilla Valley to assess overall aquifer health. We also have several nested piezometer sites located on the New Mexico and Texas border that monitor deeper zones of the aquifer as part of a joint project with the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (OSE).
EBID also provides RTU groundwater meters for farm irrigation pumps, in order to provide accurate flow data and to track the total volume of water pumped per site. We regularly conduct meter calibrations to ensure accurate water allotment totals to our farmers and work with OSE on meter reporting.
EBID also tracks storm activity in the region with several weather station monitoring sites located in key watershed areas that collect data on air temperature, ground surface temperature, soil temperature, soil volumetric content, solar radiation, barometric pressure, vapor pressure, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and rain levels.
We also have a network of rain gauge sites located within the District boundaries that collect rain data for short-term operational activities and long-term climate assessment. Operational personnel are alerted to storm activity to adjust surface water release from Caballo Dam and to track potential watershed inflow to the Rio Grande.
EBID began to explore stormwater run-off during monsoon season and extended storm events as a viable source of supplemental water for irrigation purposes. Additionally, captured stormwater run-off diverted into the canal delivery system offers the potential to reduce the overall effect of groundwater pumping on declining aquifer levels.
Over the past several years, EBID has implemented a stormwater management system aimed at tracking storm activity, monitoring stormwater inflow to the Rio Grande River channel, and capturing stormwater in areas where groundwater aquifer levels have been most affected.
Our department monitors water quality conditions at all river stations and various drains or arroyos throughout the District. River station readings are taken weekly and when stormwater is in our system. Drain readings are also taken weekly during water season and monthly ouside of water season. Arroyo sampling is conducted as needed to track water quality of watershed inflows entering the Rio Grande River. In addition to surface water testing, groundwater is also tested on a monthly basis.
Parameters tested onsite include actual and specific conductance, total dissolved solids, water temperature, nitrates and pH. Our department also takes grab samples in order to test E.coli levels on surface water, particularly during periods of stormwater inflow.