Real-time Hydrologic Data Collection Modernization
South Feather Water and Power Agency (SFWPA) has command of the water resources in the South Feather River Basin of California that serves key areas of power generation as well as municipal and agricultural water supply. Innovative Hydrology was called upon to modernize the existing hydrologic data collection network as well as assist SFWPA to develop internal capacity to manage the hydrologic network. Innovative Hydrology introduced SFWPA to a variety of technologies that specifically address the measurement challenges in the catchment. All stations were upgraded from 1980’s vintage data loggers to data loggers that provide real-time data communication through satellite. Spread spectrum radio technology was used to gather data from remote areas. On the sensor side of things, advanced bubblers, smart shaft encoders, ultrasonic water level measurement, as well as Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) were introduced to address the measurement requirements specific to SFWPA.
The SFWPA project included a data collection, hydrologic alarm, and dissemination system which automates processes that were both tedious and laborious previously. This system has been successfully implemented in the challenging environment of the Sierra Nevada, which imposes challenges on measurement as well as telecommunication.