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ITRC Paper No. P 12-006.  Stuart W. Styles and Lynn Groundwater

Implementation of Magnetic Meters for Irrigation Volumetric Measurement

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The irrigation industry is experiencing a growth in the use of magnetic meters for measuring the flow rate and volume in irrigation pipelines. Historically, propeller meters have been the device selected by users. New legislation in California (SB7x7) will require measurement devices at key locations for irrigation water delivery. Some users are very interested in the magnetic meter for making the measurement at the turnout or farm gate. The key feature of the new meter is the ability for the device to work in less than ideal flow conditions. Electromagnetic meters have been tested by ITRC in lab and field pipelines located less than the 10 diameters upstream of disturbances with good results. There are several manufacturers that are selling units to the irrigation market as well as several types of magnetic meter designs. This paper discusses how a magnetic flow meter works, advantages/disadvantages of this type of meter, test results, and new guidelines for field applications.


Styles, S.W. and L. Groundwater. 2012. Implementation of Magnetic Meters for Irrigation Volumetric Measurement. World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2012: pp. 2168-2176.

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