We’ve all heard the saying, “Bad data in, bad data out.” The opposite also holds true – verified data inputs assures a reliable, quality output. Our daily time-step method for crop water budget accounting is based upon the idea that quality data should be processed at least daily when it comes to water applied and water consumed on crop. Trying to back-calculate a water balance after days, or even worse – weeks or months after the fact results is bumbling data streams that do not seem to match up.
This does not matter whether you are measuring pipe flow, open-channel or a combination of the two, to compare against consumptive use. With open channel measurements comes additional challenges, due in part to the volatility of the measurement location. That is why SWIIM regularly checks and calibrates in-field sensors to be sure the data is producing reliable results. our full-time quality assurance department requests checks throughout the irrigation season and when they do, our team heads out with a series of tools to confirm accuracy.
One of those tools includes the SonTek Flow Tracker 2, pictured here and being used by our team on one of our sites in Imperial, CA. This sensor is placed at several key locations near our permanent structures and provides immediate confirmation of what we are seeing through the SWIIM cloud, assuring accuracy and reliability.