Irrigation District Expands Monitoring, Cost-Effectively

“Wellntel fills an important monitoring role for us.  The easy-to-deploy systems are designed for domestic style wells. For these applications, we prefer Wellntel.” 

Tim Ireland, SCADA Operations Manager
SGMA – Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency

Safe and reliable, at a reasonable cost

Four cities, a premier university and surrounding farmers depend on the reliable water supply in Yolo County, California.  The mission of Yolo County Flood Control & Water Conservation District (District) is to “plan, develop, and manage the conjunctive use of the District’s surface and groundwater resources to provide a safe and reliable water supply at a reasonable cost”.

As the county’s population grew, precipitation patterns changed, and demand increased from agricultural and industrial users. The District needed to better understand its water resource dynamics – they needed greater spatial and temporal data density.  At the same time, the implementation of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) imposed additional monitoring and reporting requirements and the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency (YSGA) was formed to comply with SGMA in a cost-effective way.

Building a cost-effective, insight-rich monitoring system

In 2018, the District was manually measuring more than a dozen wells twice each year.  Siting and drilling additional monitoring wells would be expensive.  Dropping a tape in more wells more often could require adding staff or changing responsibilities of the existing team.

The District turned to Wellntel and piloted our non-invasive monitoring and intelligent pump tracking technology on existing wells.  The pilot was a success and the decision was made to start converting to Wellntel monitors on volunteer residential wells.

In 2021, in collaboration with Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency, an additional 5 wells were converted. Today, the District has 13 residential and business wells monitored in real-time by Wellntel, thus expanding spatial and temporal understanding while saving hundreds of field hours annually.

Wellntel Monitoring Network

With Wellntel’s cloud-based platform, District personnel have real-time data and analytics capability at their fingertips – both District data and publicly available data – minimizing data wrangling and increasing understanding.  Reporting has been streamlined with an API that transmits well level measurements automatically to the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency’s SGMA reporting website

Volunteer well-owners also benefit.  They have access to  a private dashboard to see – many for the first time –  water level changes and trends for their own wells.  As an added bonus, some of these volunteers become engaged advocates for water stewardship.

Volunteer Dashboard

Increasing pressure will continue to drive demand for more data and better understanding of groundwater.   With Wellntel’s simplified measurement and reporting system, Yolo County Flood Control & Water Conservation District and the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency are well positioned to get the insight it needs to provide a safe and reliable groundwater supply, at a reasonable cost.