Farm well metering underway - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Farm well metering underway

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May 28, 2004

Terrell County-- The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission has installed water meters on a Terrell County farm irrigation system.

Division Director David Eigenberg said "It looks very similar to the speedometer and odometer on a car. As water is pumped, the hand will fluctuate around the amount of pumping that occurs. And then the totalizer or odometer will accurately account for the amount of water that has flowed past this meter."

Looking at the peanuts and cotton in the field, it is dry, and needs irrigating. Eigenberg said "This whole effort is a very farmer friendly effort trying to protect the right to continue to use water."

House Bill 579 last year requires that all farm wells have one of these meters by 2009. That would be over 21,000 meters right now. The meters are installed at no charge by the state on all watering devices registered before July 2003.

Eigenberg says farmers understand the need for the metering. "They are a very good steward of our natural resources. And they want to know what their application rates are and their flow rates are, and this metering program will help provide that information."

An eight-inch system can pump 500 to 600 gallons per minute. With the dry weather so far this growing season, most of these metered irrigation systems are working overtime. Eigenberg said "It's just another point of why it's so important to try and protect our water, and use it in a very efficient way."

The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission will collect and analyze the results for use in a statewide water usage plan. The statewide plan to measure farm water use begins in Southwest Georgia.

posted at 4:50PM by dave.miller@walb.com