Water measurement and reporting course offered Nov. 4 by UCCE

Oct 6, 2021

California water-rights holders who use water from streams can learn to measure and report the diversions themselves to comply with state regulations. UC Cooperative Extension will offer training via Zoom on Nov. 4, 2021.

Modoc County rancher Glenn Nader saved a significant amount of money by learning from the University of California Cooperative Extension how to correctly install and maintain a water volume measurement system on his ranch.  

Nader, a retired UC Cooperative Extension advisor himself, and his wife have owned and operated a 2,880-acre ranch in Modoc County since 1999. 

“We divert irrigation water out of the creeks on the ranch for irrigation of the cattle pastures and hay fields,” Nader said. “The State of California required that we hire a certified engineer to set up and maintain water measurement devices at three locations on the ranch. Because of our remote location, the cost of an engineer would have been over $4,000 for set up alone.”

“After the class, I was confident that we could meet the state standards and that I could implement a water measurement system on our ranch.” 

After Senate Bill 88 became law in 2015, California water-rights holders who have diverted or intend to divert more than 10 acre-feet per year or who are authorized to divert that amount of water have been required to measure and report the water they divert from surface streams. For people who wish to take the water measurements themselves, state law allows UC Cooperative Extension training to receive certification.

A virtual training is scheduled for Nov. 4, 2021, beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at 12:30 p.m. Registration is $25 and includes downloadable course materials. Register at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=33616.  If you encounter any difficulties with registering at the link provided, contact Sara Jaimes at sbjaimes@ucanr.edu.

At the workshop, participants can expect to:

  • clarify reporting requirements for ranches
  • understand what meters are appropriate for different situations
  • learn how to determine measurement equipment accuracy
  • develop an understanding of measurement weirs
  • learn how to calculate and report volume from flow data

“This is likely the last training being held in 2021,” said Larry Forero, instructor and UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor. “If you need this training, register soon.” 

If you have any questions about this training, please contact Forero at lcforero@ucanr.edu or Jaimes at sbjaimes@ucanr.edu or by calling the UCCE office in Shasta County at (530) 224-4900. For additional information about AB-589, which called for this training, visit https://ucanr.edu/sites/AB589.


Senate Bill 88 requires that all water right holders who have previously diverted or intend to divert more than 10 acre-feet per year (riparian and pre-1914 claims), or who are authorized to divert more than 10 acre-feet per year under a permit, license or registration, to measure and report the water they divert. 

Detailed information on the regulatory requirements for measurement and reporting is available on the State Water Resources Control Board Reporting and Measurement Regulation webpage. The legislation as written requires for diversion (or storage) greater than or equal to 100-acre feet annually that installation and certification of measurement methods be approved by an engineer/contractor/professional. 

The California Cattlemen's Association worked with Assemblyman Frank Bigelow to introduce a bill that would allow a self-certification option. Assembly Bill 589 became law on Jan. 1, 2018. This bill, until Jan. 1, 2023, allows any diverter, as defined, “who has completed this instructional course on measurement devices and methods administered by the University of California Cooperative Extension,” including passage of a proficiency test, to be considered a qualified individual when installing and maintaining devices or implementing methods of measurement. The bill required UC Cooperative Extension and the board to jointly develop the curriculum for the course and the proficiency test.

By Pamela Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach