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ITRC Paper No. P 17-002.  Kyle Feist, Charles M. Burt, and Robert Pierce

Case Study: West Stanislaus Irrigation District Modernization

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West Stanislaus Irrigation District (WSID) provides agricultural irrigation water to about 22,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley. The majority of WSID’s water is diverted directly from the San Joaquin River, with supplemental water obtained from the Delta-Mendota Canal (DMC), groundwater wells, and a variety of other sources.
WSID operates a series of pumping plants that lift water from the San Joaquin River sequentially into six short canal reaches. Each main canal pool supplies one or two laterals along the valley contour. Water from the DMC enters the district via a gravity pipeline at the tail end of the main canal.
Water supply curtailments, regulatory changes, and significant increases in drip/micro irrigated acreage have steered the district and its board members towards modernization of its original 1920’s-era infrastructure. To that end, the Cal Poly Irrigation Training and Research Center (ITRC) has worked in cooperation with WSID since the early 2000’s on a phased modernization planning and implementation process. Following a Main Canal Modernization Study, significant improvements have been executed along the main canal including the automation of all original pumping plants and lateral headings as well as the construction of two new, automated pumping plants. An industrial-grade Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system has also been commissioned. Further project planning is underway at the San Joaquin River diversion and throughout the lateral canal system.
This paper describes the modernization process and results. Lessons learned throughout the various projects are also discussed.


K. Feist, C.M. Burt and R. Pierce. 2017. Case Study: West Stanislaus Irrigation District Modernization. In Proceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress. May 21-25, 2017. Sacramento, CA.

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