AC Biobío Norte inaugurates first Automated Rubicon FlumeGates

The manager of the organisation, Rodrigo Romero, said that “in these times of water scarcity, water has to be utilised efficiently, that is what Water User Organisations must understand.”

Rubicon Water installed a sophisticated water resources management solution for the Association of Canalistas Biobío Norte, to begin their modernisation journey and provide an improved distribution service to irrigators. The project involved the implementation of automated gates, SCADA software and telemetry to enable precise measure, control and delivery of water to farmers when required.

The automated overshot FlumeGates were installed by the Rubicon Water Latin America team in the San Carlos de Purén sector, 20 kilometres south of Los Ángeles, on the Bíobío River. In this agricultural sector, 80% of water diverted for irrigation purposes is to grow both maize and fodder for dairy farming.

Rodrigo Romero Jara, Manager of the Association of Canalists Biobío Norte, says that irrigation channels in this area typically lose around 30% of the water diverted.

“With this type of gate, I can assure a user of the flow that is happening in real time, I can analyse how much I am delivering and be confident that I am meeting their requirements at the time and day they request it. We went from 50% efficiency to 80%, easily.

The automated gravity-fed irrigation technology developed by Rubicon is now being adopted by several Water User Organisations across the country, in regions including; Elqui, Aconcagua, Choapa, Ñuble, Diguillín, Melozal, Rinconada and of course, Biobío Norte.

“This Rubicon system, allows us to remotely manage a network of channels, either by flow or by volume. The opening and closing of different delivery structures via a remote connection, allows us to manage water and adapt to these water scarce times. There is the trend of management, especially in these times of water scarcity, in which water has to be occupied optimally, that is what Organisations of Water Users must understand” adds Romero.

Aside from the direct water savings, the project introduces a safer water distribution, providing better operation and monitoring of the channels. The collection of insightful data via Rubicon software makes it possible to plan, organise, manage and deliver water in an efficient way.

Romero mentions that “the idea we have as an organisation is that all future water deliveries can be managed by the automated system, with all gates being interconnected and adapting to the requirements of each farmer”.

These water management solutions integrate an intelligent communication system and sensors for precision flow measurement – allowing operators to manage, monitor and control remotely, without the need to physically travel to each site.

To date, Rubicon has produced more than 35,000 gates and metering devices for customers located in 17 countries.