College of Agriculture

Irrigation Training Facility

Grants from the Bureau of Reclamation for personnel and infrastructure, support from the California State University, Chico College of Agriculture, and grants from the California Public Utilities Commission have funded the development of a demonstration SCADA system, an irrigation training facility (ITF), and a mediated classroom at the Agricultural Teaching and Research Center (ATRC) in Chico. These facilities were created to support Northern California water districts to implement conservation plans. The location of this facility in the heart of the Sacramento Valley makes it easily accessible to irrigation district personnel. This facility was developed with assistance and cooperation from of the Irrigation Training and Research Center (ITRC) at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT), California State University, Fresno. The project remains closely allied with ITRC.

One of the goals of developing this facility is to support the adoption of new technologies in water measurement and control that will lead to water conservation. By providing a local facility, local training opportunities, and technical support in Chico it is hoped that Northern California water districts will adopt new water conservation technologies. The facility at ATRC is unique in that it incorporates a demonstration site where various water measurement technologies can be demonstrated. Installation on the 800 farm allows the flexibility to demonstrate under field conditions (e.g. demonstrate water flow measurement in unlined ditches, or in field turnouts) as well as the controlled conditions of the demonstration facility.

Irrigation system evaluations are provided free of charge as a joint program with Cal Poly, SLO that is funded by the Bureau of Reclamation.   For more information please contact us.  See:

SCADA Equipment

The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) equipment is installed at eight pumping sites including the ITF on the ATRC.  The facilities were designed to demonstrate a wide range of technologies.  Control is demonstrated on both electric and diesel pumps.  A variety of PLC‘s and sensors are installed.  Both wired and radio communication technologies are demonstrated.  Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) are installed a several locations. 


Jim Norris - Technician 530-898-5446
Agriculture Teaching and Research Center
College of Agriculture Chico, CA  95929-0270 

Michael Spiess - Project Director 530-898-4554