Eldon M. Stock

Document Type


Publication Date

January 1955


Foreword: Although irrigation has been practiced in Utah for more than one hundred years, irrigation water still is being distributed to farmers with little or not thought about its measurement. A farmer would not think of buying or selling other farm commodities, such as hay, grain, beef cattle, or dairy products, without weighing or accurately measuring them, but at the same time he is often content to accept and pay for the irrigation water received with little or no knowledge as to the actual amount received, or whether or not he is receiving the amount he is entitled to. Measurement of irrigation and drainage waters in Utah by irrigation companies, irrigation and drainage districts, and by cities and towns having irrigation systems is of paramound importance to conservation of the state's water and soil resources. Systematic water measurements properly recorded, water and soil resources. Systematic water measurements properly recorded, interpreted, and used contitute the foundations upon which increasing efficiencies of water conveyance, application and use msut be constructed. Higher efficiencies in the various phases of irrigation will conserve water and decrease the need for the cost of land drainage. The purpose of this bulletin is to present, in a brief and simple form, a discussion of the more common methods of water measurement together with descriptions of the devices used and useful tables or graphs. Water measurement is based on fundamental priniples of hydraulics, but the practical application of these principles necessary to the actual measurement of stream flow requires no special knowledge of hydraulics or mathematics beyong simple algebra. The technique of using these devices and the graphs or tables accompanying them can be mastered readily by farmers or those responsible for regulation and distribution of water to the farmers. It is hoped that this simplified presentation of information on water measurement will encourage more irrigation companies and farmers to measure their irrigation water and to strive to increase efficiencies in the use of existing water supplies. This bulletin should be useful not only to irrigation farmers, water masters and ditch riders, but also to county agricultural agents, agricultural research workers, attorneys and engineers.