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Chapter 4

Irrigation Water Measurement


  • The material provided in this section is intended to serve as a framework for irrigation water measurement training.
  • For a pdf document that contains the introduction, objectives, and suggested outline, click here.
Suggested Objectives

Suggested Objectives

    1. Explain the importance of measuring devices.
    2. List and explain the various measuring devices available for irrigation conveyance flow measurement.
    3. Describe procedures for using various measuring devices available for irrigation conveyance flow measurement.
    4. Apply appropriate technology to select the measuring device best suited to the planned conveyance system.


Suggested Outline

Suggested Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
    1. Importance of water measurement devices
    2. Measuring Devices
      1. Open channel measuring devices
        1. Weirs
        2. Flumes
        3. Gates and Orifices
        4. Current meters
        5. Acoustic meters
        6. Others
    1. Closed conduit measuring devices
      1. Differential head meters
      2. Velocity meters
      3. Acoustic meters
      4. Other
    2. Secondary Measuring Devices
      1. Head and pressure measurement devices
      2. Volume totalization devices
      3. Data storage and transmission devices
    3. Procedures for Using Measuring Devices
    4. Selection of Best Device for Site
  3. Summary

Toolbox Material


Note: Note all copies of documents that were contained in the original Irrigation Training Toolbox are available electronically.

If you are unable to find a hard copy of a document in your state, you may be able to borrow a copy from the Water Management Engineer at your regional National technology Support Center

  1. NEH Part 652: Irrigation Guide, Chapters 7: Farm Distribution Components
  2. NEH Part 623: Chapter 9: Water Measurement
  3. ASAE, "Flow Measuring Flumes for Open Channel Systems” ISBN-929355-15- 6
    • Publication “The Surface Irrigation Manual”, Chapter 1, ITRC


  • Video 013 “Step Out of The Stone Ages, Water Works: A Guide to Effective Water Measurement”, US Bureau of Reclamation (18:45)
  • Video 014 “Irrigation Flow Measurement in Piped Systems”, Bureau of Reclamation, NRCS & The University of Nebraska (46:16)

  1. Water Measurement
    120 slides