The Texas Water Development Board's voluntary irrigation metering program is a long-term collaborative effort with agricultural producers and other participating entities to measure the amount of applied water for irrigation.
Through voluntary participation by Groundwater Conservation Districts and other entities, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) provides cost-share funding to implement metering as a best management practice. Precise knowledge of applied water volumes can help producers track the benefits of other best management practices, potentially leading to improved water conservation efforts.
This voluntary program benefits agricultural producers, water districts, and the state. Agricultural producers in participating districts receive metering equipment at a reduced cost. The districts compile reported water use data to monitor production, refine upon groundwater availability models, and improve upon the accuracy of irrigation water use estimates. These estimates provide the basis for developing irrigation demand projections during the regional water planning process.
Since the program began in 1999, participation from twenty-one unique entities allowed for cost-share funding of irrigation metering equipment across much of the state. TWDB provided funding for flow meters through various sources of funds over the years. The initial source of funding for this program was in the form of a regional water planning grant for Region A (Panhandle). In subsequent years, TWDB purchased metering equipment with capital equipment funds and distributed the meters to participating districts. TWDB administers the current program through the competitive agricultural water conservation grants program.
In 2013, the 83rd Texas Legislature appropriated $3,000,000 in funding to support the program through Senate Bill 1, Rider 25, which specified that TWDB make Agricultural Water Conservation Monitoring grants available to groundwater conservation districts with promulgated rules requiring metering.
If you are interested in more information about the TWDB voluntary irrigation metering program please contact TWDB Agricultural Conservation staff.