Automated Irrigation Control Gates Managing Water Flow in India

2023 February Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Upcoming conferences

  • RiserDrive: Rubicon Intelligent Actuator for existing On-Farm valves

  • India example of Rubicon Water’s scalable technology

  • Built in America

  • Rubicon Technology dominates California “Sweep” desert awards

  • Grants Opportunity
  • New Rubicon Project Manager

Rubicon will be at these upcoming conferences

February 2023

ConferenceTitleStart dateFinish dateLocation
Rural Water Technology Alliance (RWTA)Annual Water Technologies Conference2/21/20232/22/2023Orem, UT
Family Farm Alliance (FFA)Annual Conference2/23/20232/24/2023Silver Legacy, Reno, NV
Ditch & Reservoir Company Alliance (DARCA)2023 Annual Conference2/23/20232/23/2023Loveland, CO
California Irrigation Institute (CAII)60th Annual Meeting2/27/20232/28/2023Sacramento, CA
Irrigation Leader / NWRA Australia TourAustralia Tour3/4/20233/10/2023Australia
Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)Spring Conference5/9/20235/11/2023Monterey, CA
Utah Water Users 2023 WorkshopAnnual Workshop3/20/20233/22/2023St. George, UT

Pre-release product news: The RiserDrive™️ – Intelligent Actuator for existing On-Farm valves

Coming soon

The Rubicon Water RiserDrive™️ will retrofit to existing on-farm valves to bring remote operation and automation to previously manually operated valves.

It is a simple, yet scalable revolutionary solution for farmers.

The RiserDrive is an intelligent actuator that will reduce the need to be physically in the field.  And, not only will it reduce farm labor requirements, freeing up time for other important tasks, but it provides reliable, real-time operation and information.

This RiserDrive leverages the technology proven in Rubicon’s products over the past 25 + years. Built-in LoRaWAN and loT capabilities allow for scalable communication infrastructure.

It seamlessly connects to the Rubicon FarmConnect Platform, enabling the remote management of each valve device, and GPS positioning accurately displays each outlet on a mapping interface, making remote opening, closing, programming and monitoring a simple task.

The software platform is able to integrate both FarmConnect and compatible third-party devices to provide a single interface.

The RiserDrive is powered by Rubicon’s FerIT™️ SolarNode.  Learn more about the FerIT™️ SolarNode in our datasheet. 

THE RiserDrive WILL BE AVAILABLE DURING 2023 AND WE WILL BE SURE TO KEEP YOU INFORMED OF AVAILABILITY.

In the meantime, if you would like additional information please contact :

peter.moller@rubiconwater.com

or your regional Rubicon Account Manager.

Good News from India demostrates Rubicon Water’s scalable technology

THOUSANDS WATCH AS THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA INAUGURATES WORLD’S LARGEST CANAL IRRIGATION AUTOMATION PROJECT 

A huge crowd showed its delight recently when India’s Honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated one of the world’s largest canal irrigation modernization projects.

The hundred of thousands were in attendance and millions around the nation simultaneously watched  in January as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai, introduced the NLBC Automation project, summarising that for the first time, farmers across the entire 400,000ha area are receiving irrigation water through the Rubicon automated canal system. 

The Chief Minister said that with equitable distribution and better water management, the Rubicon TCC will provide adequate water to farmers so that they can grow several crops a year and increase yields. Modernization of the system has already increased network efficiency by 20% and this number will increase as the project progresses.

The scope of the project included the installation of more than 4,200 solar-powered Rubicon Water flow control gates that are interconnected via a captive radio communication network to control the delivery of water to farmers located along approximately 2,000 miles of surface irrigation canals. The automated system designed by Rubicon is responsible for accurately distributing water to approximately 1,545 square miles of farmland.

The Honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi then stood in front of the stage to perform the official inauguration of the Canal Automation project. On the unveiling of the inaugural plaque the gates were activated and placed into automated operation amid happy cheers.

 Modi addressed the audience with an energetic welcome note followed by dedicating the project to the people of India outlining that “Like national security, border security, coastal security, and internal security, India needs to end the challenges of water security for the development of India in the 21st century.”

Modi went on to directly reference the early project benefits by stating “Water is being supplied to drought affected areas by developing and expanding the Narayanpur Left Bank Canal system. Now, the new system with the integrated technology will help to bring  400,000 hectares (approx.1,545 square miles) under irrigation – promoting the capability to grow more crops per drop. Farmers at the end of the canal, enough water will now come to you for a long time.” said Prime Minister Modi as the excitement of the event rippled its way through the crowd consisting of Indian ministers, civil dignitaries, farmers and more.

Back in the USA, the Rubicon Water team was also celebrating the occasion. The India project demonstrates the massive scalability of Rubicon Water’s Total Channel Control (TCC™️). The advanced automation technology was developed  by Rubicon Water and Research Partner, the University of Melbourne.

The project in India was delivered in collaboration with Joint Venture partner Medha Servo Drives. In 2019, Rubicon Water and Medha established a dedicated manufacturing facility located in Hyderabad to meet the demands of the expanding market in India and worldwide. The local manufacturing facility is committed to supporting the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

In a similar way a Rubicon manufacturing facility in the USA will enable the continued growth of Rubicon’s technology in the USA.

Rubicon Water’s USA General Manager, Darren McGregor said: “The Indian inauguration is exciting for the whole world as well as for Rubicon here in the USA. The NLBC system is now a world class reference site for what Rubicon’s technology can achieve, as Rubicon pursues the broader India market, which totals more than 239,383 square miles”

“The project has already delivered benefits, with farmers at the end of the almost 2,000 mile canal system receiving water for the first time in decades. Farmers have also reported increases in crop yields by up to 50%, due to the ability to specify when their crop needs water.

“The serviceability and equitability of water to farmers through the extensive network is expected to increase as the automated capabilities of the network continue to be introduced” Mr McGregor said.

As the world looks for solutions in addressing water shortages and the challenges of climate change, the Rubicon technology is increasingly becoming part of the answer.

The extensive NLBC Automation project in the Indian State of Karnataka demonstrates how technology is not only reducing the impacts of water scarcity but also helping to improve the lives of thousands of farmers.

Built in America

Rubicon’s Production Manager, Lisa Leyva is pictured inside one of the largest FlumeGates constructed by Rubicon, In Modesto, CA.  Also pictured are Rubicon’s production staff assembling the overshot gate.

The FlumeGate is a combined flow measurement and control gate designed for open channels.

Accurate flow measurement, precise motor control, power supply and radio telecommunications are fully integrated in a single device.

The FlumeGate automatically controls the flow of water through varying the gate position based on a desired set-point and on control objectives.

Rubicon Technology secures California SWEEP desert awards

Southern California Desert Projects using Rubicon’s FarmConnect™️ technology have won a large portion of the $2 million grant funding in the desert section of the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program known as SWEEP.

The successful projects announced in February utilize Rubicon’s high-performance surface irrigation technology and it is estimated that each project will decrease water consumption by up to 30% annually.

Combined, the projects will involve the installation of FarmConnect AgTech across 9 fields over 725 acres. Products include 101 x BayDrives, 21 x BayDrives with Trapezoidal canal gates, 9 x SlipMeters and 8 x PikoMeters.

The Budget Act of 2021 allocated $50 million to the California Department of Food and Agriculture to provide grant funding directly to California agricultural operations to incentivize activities that reduce on-farm water use.  A $2 million portion was dedicated to projects located in the southern desert region.  The successful projects demonstrated water savings from proposed irrigation improvements which do not result in an increase of greenhouse gas emissions.

The awards were made possible in part by Rubicon Water’s grant funding program, which offers free-of-charge grant writing assistance. All successful applicants utilizing Rubicon technology were aided in their applications by Rubicon’s grant program.

Rubicon offers no-obligation grant writing assistance, no matter how big or small the project is. Note that it has successfully assisted customers in grant applications even for the purchase of a single gate all the way to a complex project.

For more information on how Rubicon Water can assist you with grant applications please contact melissa.lowry@rubiconwater.com

Grants Opportunity

WaterSmart Environment Resource Projects.  Closes March 28th 2023

Information on grants.gov. Search  R23AS00089

The opportunity is a maximum award of $3,000,000 with a 75% (or 50% in some cases) cost share. Projects must “include on-the-ground implementation projects for the primary purpose of benefitting ecological values or improving watershed health that have a nexus to water resources management. This includes projects that benefit plant and animal species; fish and wildlife habitat; riparian areas; ecosystems; commercial, recreational, subsistence, or Tribal ceremonial fishing; and river-based recreation, which are supported by rivers, streams, or other water sources, or that are directly influenced by water resources management.” In addition it is required that projects must have a “formal mechanism” to commit and measure conserved water to in-stream flows. 

https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=345535

Welcoming our NEW Project Manager to the team

Pat (Patricia) Amidon  joins the Rubicon team with a strong background in project management and civil  engineering.

She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering with a focus on Structures (steel and concrete) and a Minor in Mathematics.  She also studied a variety of sciences at university including Petroleum Engineering, Chemistry, Physics and Geology.

Pat began her career in the Power Industry designing Transmission and Substation Structures along with site grading.  Most recently she worked in Land Development (horizontal construction) which entailed heavy civil earthwork, underground wet and dry utilities and landscaping.  She has extensive experience in Environmental Requirements for Compliance.

In her free time Pat enjoys many outdoor activities including skiing, rowing, camping, fishing and gardening, as well as painting.