AWMA partnered Central Irrigation Trust (CIT) on a Remote Meter Reading Project that was government funded through the Water Smart Australia Program, to the value of $2.3 million.
The project demonstrates how introducing innovative irrigation metering technology and data systems can improve water use efficiency. It will allow the Central Irrigation Trust based at Barmera to transfer consumption and flow data from 2334 electronic water meters on irrigation farms to a central computer system every 15 minutes. This will allow farmers and system managers live access to information on flow and consumption 24 hours a day seven days a week.
The project required a radio telemetry network system enabling remote access to electronic meter readings, including water consumption and flow rates, for the benefit of irrigators, system managers and other agencies.
CIT Project Manager Jim Atsaves awarded AWMA the contract for all stages of the project, stating “CIT have enjoyed working with AWMA. Their ability to work through new ground with us, to achieve the best possible solution has been greatly received.”
The project was conducted over four years each year being set as a project stage. Stage 1 was the pilot program involved; fitting 65 telemetry radios to irrigation meters, installing a radio base station (R.A.T. Hub Station) at the CIT low level water tank in Berri and establishing a server computer to house data and host a database and web server for the project. Stage 2 required establishing the telemetry systems for 600 irrigation metering sites plus three Hub Stations in Berri, Kingston and Waikire. Stage 3 required a further 835 sites plus five Hub Stations.
Jim Atsaves stated, “The telemetry system we are installing is extremely complex as it is on a very large scale. It is also very intensive within the geographic boundaries of our districts. We were unable to discover any similar system within Australian industry. AWMA’s JO COM Telemetry was the chosen supplier for all stages of this project, above seven interested companies.”
Mr Atsaves explained “CIT were in a prime position to pilot this innovative technology. Our company has had a policy of implementing technology to ensure that we can allow our customers to practice precision irrigation. All of our systems are pressurised and as the drought has gripped our catchments it is apparent that the scarce water resource must be managed efficiently. Information is crucial to managing water properly and a telemetry system built on accurate metering is a necessity. Our telemetry network now automates irrigation meter reading, significantly improving water management by making current, up to date water meter information available to system managers and irrigators via the internet. Radio telemetry devices directly connect to irrigation meters in the field to send readings to a nearby radio base station, to then be forwarded via the internet to an office server computer. This allows for constant result updates to be viewed on the web via secure internet access from anywhere in the world.”