Measurement of flows for two irrigation districts in the lower Colorado River basin, Texas
Coplin, L.S., Fred Liscum, Jeffery W. East, and Lee B. Goldstein
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The lower Colorado River authority sells and distributes water for irrigation of rice farms in two irrigation districts, the lakeside district and the gulf coast district, in the lower Colorado River basin of Texas. In 1993, the lower Colorado River authority implemented a water measurement program to account for the water delivered to rice farmer and to promote water conservation. During the rice-irrigation season (summer and fall) of 1995, the U.S. geological survey measured flows at 30 sites in the lakeside district and 24 sites in the gulf coast district coincident with lower Colorado River authority measuring sites. In each district, the survey made essentially simultaneous flow measurements with different types of meters twice a day once in the morning and once in the afternoon at each site on selected days for comparison with lower Colorado River authority measurements. One hundred pairs of corresponding (same site, same date) lower Colorado River authority and U.S. geological survey measurements from lakeside district 104 measurement pairs from the gulf coast district are compared statistically and graphically. For comparison, the measurement pairs are grouped by irrigation district and further subdivided by the time difference between corresponding measurements less than or equal to 1 hour or more than 1 hour. Wilcoxon signed rank tests (to indicate whether two groups of paired observations are statistically different) on lakeside district measurements indicate that the lower Colorado River authority and U.S. geological survey measurements are not statically different. The median absolute percent difference between the flow measurements is 5.9 percent; and 33 percent of the flow measurements differ by more than 10 percent. Similar statistically tests on gulf coast district measurement pairs with 1 hour or less between measurements indicate that the lower Colorado River authority and U.S. geological survey measurements are not statistically different. The median absolute percent difference between the flow measurements is 2.6 percent; and 30 percent of the flow measurements differ by more than 10 percent. The differences noted above between lower Colorado River authority and U.S. geological survey measurements with 1 hour or less between measurements and the differences between essentially simultaneous U.S. geological survey measurements are of similar orders of magnitude and, in some cases, very close.