Solar Powered Remote Water Level Monitoring

Pacific Watershed Associates, based in Northwestern California, is an environmental and engineering firm that specializes in complex watershed issues. One of their services monitors water levels in local streams and water flows to agricultural users. California State Water Resources Control Board has laws and regulations (ISFP) that require real time monitoring of water diversions in order to protect wildlife in the nearby streams. Agricultural customers must report diversions and maintain compliance within water rights.

Telemetry Solution

The system uses a Maxbotix ultrasonic sensor to measure stream height or stage. Once an hour the stream height, or stage, is sent over cellular on AT&T’s M2X platform via a Multitech cellular modem. Flow rates are measured either by counting pulses on a flow meter or by measuring pressure in a pipe. The system is powered by our 9 Watt solar panel and V44 battery pack with Always On functionality.

solar powered stream level telemeter

Solar powered telemeter by Pacific Watershed Associates deployed in field.

Here is what a water level report could look like:

solar powered stream level monitoring

Stream Level Report

Water Level Alerts

If water levels fall below a certain level, Pacific Watershed can shut off the valve remotely or alert the farmer to shut the valve manually. This shutoff can occur in sequence based on the owner’s “water rights, license, permit, seniority and water allocation.”

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Learn more about Pacific Watershed’s Telemeter here.

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