Rubicon Newsletter – January 2023

In this issue:

  • Wishing you a wonderful 2023

  • Upcoming conferences

  • John Lind, Rubicon’s new Southwest Account Manager

  • Groundwater Re-charge success with Rubicon Gates

  • Rubicon small-scale efficiency successes and more to come

  • Oregon 2023 water project grants and loans>

Wishing You Health, Happiness and Prosperity for 2023

One month is already down for the year – we hope the year has started favorably for all. Our team would like to wish you a healthy and productive 2023 and we look forward to seeing you throughout the year.

Rubicon will be at these upcoming conferences

February 2023

ConferenceTitleDateLocationFurther Information
California Agricultural Irrigation Association (CAIA)Fall Meeting SeptemberSeptember 13-14 /2023Pismo Beach, CA
Fall Meeting Packet
Inaugural Coalition Meeting of Rio Grande Water Users entitled “The Value of Collaboration”Meeting eventOctober 3-5 /2023Santa Fe, NM 87501
Rio Grande MeetingRio Grande Meeting
Montana Association of Dams and Canal SystemsAnnual Workshop
* Includes a field tour of Black Eagle Dam
October 11-12 /2023Heritage Inn, Great Falls, MTEmail to: Jeremiah Theys at jtheys@greatwesteng.com
Columbia Basin Development League59th Annual Conference and Meeting
November 14 /2023Moses Lake, WAAnnual Conference

Army and irrigation district backgrounds are an asset for Rubicon’s Southwest Account Manager, JOHN LIND

John Lind, Rubicon’s new Southwest Account Manager has plenty of experience with issues surrounding agricultural irrigation, having been the General Manager of the Burley Irrigation District in Idaho since 2014.

Prior to irrigation management, he served in US Army Intelligence Corps and other intelligence agencies where he put together reports and briefings for senior military leaders on subjects including counter-terrorism, counter-drugs, technology development, research and development, and intelligence support for special operations.

 John says the US Army experience was valuable for his time as an irrigation district manager.

 “The experience made me very analytical” said John. “I like data driven decisions and it helped me at Burley.

 Now, as a Rubicon Account Manager, he believes he can put both careers to good use for Rubicon customers.

 The Burley Irrigation District  in southern Idaho services almost 48,000 irrigated acres with around 400 miles of canal.

 “I had a sudden immersion into irrigation canal systems’ said John. “It was a challenge, but my Army experience of analyzing and understanding the importance of details was valuable.

 John also visited Rubicon’s Australia facilities in February of 2016 in his capacity as District Manager.

I am one of the few employees of Rubicon who has visited Rubicon in Australia before I became an employee” John joked.

It was a very interesting and informative trip and I can put a lot of that experience to good use now that I am on the other side of the fence helping irrigation districts to make decisions about Rubicon gates and automation” said John.

John will be working in Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico.  He and his wife, LaRae, have found a new home east of Yuma, AZ.  LaRae is currently studying for a degree in anthropology. The couple have two sons, Wesley, 19, who attends the University of Arizona and Sean, 17, who is completing his senior year of high school.

John Lind can be reached at john.lind@rubiconwater.com

Groundwater re-charge success with Rubicon Gates

In places where excess water can be diverted for groundwater re-charge, Rubicon gates are proving to be very successful. One such site is on a lateral of the Peoples Canal in southeastern Idaho where a Rubicon PikoMeter is proving to help in at least two ways. As more and more center pivots were installed in nearby fields, the lateral struggled with fluctuating canal levels caused by the pivots as they were turned on and off, leading to some serious irrigation issues for farmers. In order to avoid topping out of the lateral, water delivery had to be carefully controlled and often cut back which meant not enough water for farmers.  Now, instead of the lack of control of the lateral, the PikoMeter which is situated at the end of the lateral, provides level control, opening and closing as the water level fluctuates. At the same time, the PikoMeter acts as a release mechanism when levels get too high. Unused water is measured and released into the specially converted re-charge site where it makes its way back to groundwater storage. Peoples Canal partnered with the local groundwater district to fund the installation of the PikoMeter.
Alan Jackson, Groundwater District spokesman said, “The PikoMeter has worked really well for us in the 2022 irrigation season and the nearby farmers are very pleased with it.  It allowed us to run more water down the canal than we were previously able to do, in the knowledge that excess water would go to re-charge the groundwater, rather than to risk overtopping the lateral.  And farmers get the water supply they need. The PikoMeter has proved to be a very successful installation”.
The PikoMeter is an option to consider for re-charge sites as well as for problem laterals. It is a low-cost and useful tool for irrigation districts that want to re-charge excess water as is the case of Peoples Canal, or to get better control on lateral water levels.  It can be especially useful for remotely monitoring and managing gates that take an inordinate amount of time to physically reach or which are difficult to reach in certain conditions. As with all Rubicon gates, the PikoMeter can stand alone or be integrated into a comprehensive Rubicon automated canal system. So districts that start their automation journey with one gate can do so in the knowledge that they can add on gates year by year as budget allows to create an eventual fully integrated automated canal system. The Rubicon PikoMeter is a simple-to-install, integrated undershot gate and meter that enables irrigation districts to remotely deliver precisely-measured quantities of water. Its all-in-one design makes remote automated control very easy.  With a smartphone and Rubicon software, the gate can be remotely opened and closed to manage water levels or it can be set at a pre-determined level.  Also, the meter can be remotely read, checked for historical data, and monitored in real-time.  Further information about the PikoMeter here.

Rubicon small-scale efficiency successes and more to come

An impressive number of the WaterSMART Small-Scale Water Efficiency Awards recently announced by the USBR on January 5 include projects that are using Rubicon’s technology.

Of the total $7 million investment, approx. $1.5 million has been awarded to projects that will use Rubicon gates and technology.

Three of the successful projects were assisted with their grant applications by Rubicon’s  experienced grant writer, Melissa Lowry.

The total $7 million investment is for 82 small-scale water efficiency projects across the West.  The grants support local community projects, including measuring water flow, automating water delivery, or lining canals.  The awards offer 50/50 cost-share funding and are part of the $1 billion provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the WaterSMART program.

Melissa Lowry explained how Rubicon is pleased to help irrigation district customers who wish to apply for a range of WaterSMART and other grants that include Rubicon technology.  “It is a service we offer free of charge and without obligation” says Melissa,” and can be used by any size of irrigation district whether they are looking at a single automated gate or more complex canal automation.”

Anticipating the next round of Small-Scale Water Efficiency grant opportunities to be announced, Melissa stresses the importance of planning ahead and allowing time to create successful applications.  She is available to discuss options in advance of announcements. 

Contact Melissa at melissa.lowry@rubiconwater.com Tel 541-880-8754.

Oregon 2023 Water Project Grants and Loans information now available

There is $18.9 million available for the State of Oregon 2023 water projects grants and loans. The grants require a 25% cost match.

Eligible projects include: conservation, reuse, above-ground storage, below-ground storage, streamflow protection or restoration, water distribution, conveyance or delivery systems and other water resource development projects that result in economic, environmental, and social/cultural public benefits. Any local government, Indian tribe, or person  within the State of Oregon may apply for funding.

If you would like help with your grant application relating to Rubicon products please Contact Melissa Lowry at Rubicon Water: melissa.lowry@rubiconwater.com Tel 541-880-8754

Links to additional information: Oregon.gov/Programs/Funding Opportunities