Harlingen, Texas, USA

Improvements in water conservation for the Harlingen Irrigation District Cameron County No. 1

Status: Completed


The District provides water services to 3,309 irrigation accounts, 500 non-agricultural accounts and one municipal account with Harlingen Water Works Services, which, in turn, provides municipal water services to the cities of Harlingen, Primera, Combes, and Palm Valley, as well as rural service to Military Highway Water Supply and East Rio Hondo Water Supply.

The District’s water system consists of 40 miles of earthen canals constructed between 1905 and 1915 and 26 miles of concrete lined canals constructed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The water is distributed from the canal system to users through 155 miles of pipeline. Various sections of the canals have been severely damaged by excessive ground movement.

The District’s delivery efficiency ranges from 75 to 80 percent, which means that approximately 20 to 25 percent of the water that the District diverts from the Rio Grande is lost to seepage, evaporation and spills.


The proposed project consists of the installation of a district-wide water management system with flow measurement devices and telemetry, and the repair of 8.9 miles of damaged canals through relining or conversion to pipes. The project has been divided into two phases.

Phase I

· Installation of flow measurement devices at 73 pump sites and at canal diversion points.

Phase II

· Application of polyurethane lining to 3.3 miles of concrete canals

· Installation of pipeline to replace 5.6 miles of open-air, concrete 2 canals.


The new water management system will allow the District to more efficiently match water supply deliveries to water demand, thus reducing excess pumping requirements and conserving both water and energy. With better water management and the repairs to damaged canals, the system is expected to save an estimated 13,092 acre-feet of water a year. Energy savings from reduced pumping are estimated at 614,613 KWH/year on average.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost US 3.56M
NADBank Funding US 1.78M - NADBank Grant: WCIF
Other Funding Partners State Energy Conservation Office
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the State of Texas