Cameron County Irrigation District No. 6, Texas, USA

Replacement of the River Pump Station for Cameron County Irrigation District No. 6 in Texas

Status: Completed


The District covers 22,432 acres, 19,268 of which are subject to irrigation. In addition to providing irrigation services to its agricultural users, the District also supplies municipal water to the city of Los Fresnos, Texas and the Olmito Water Supply Corporation, as well as
diverts irrigation water for Bayview Irrigation District No. 11, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, and Cameron County Water Improvement District No. 10.

The District main conveyance system consists of a pump station, a main earthen canal that extends about 20 miles northward from the river and approximately 100 miles of laterals consisting of concretelined and earthen canals. An estimated 81 miles of the District’s
canals are unlined and many of the concrete-lined canals are extremely deteriorated. As a result the District loses an estimated 12,731 acre-feet of water through seepage annually.

Water is diverted from the Rio Grande by the District’s pump station and conveyed to the main canal, which carries it to the reservoir for storage. The pump station, which is located 5.5 miles northwest of Brownsville, Texas, was built in the early 1900’s and is considered
one of the oldest pump stations on the Rio Grande. Based on data available from 1997 to 2006, the average overall efficiency of the pumping plant is 57.9%. By increasing pump efficiency and flow rates, water will spend less time in the canals, thus reducing losses
from seepage and evaporation. Moreover, the increased pumping capacity will allow the District to take advantage of no-charge water when it is available, thereby increasing its water supply.1


The purpose of this project is to provide improvements to the pumping system that will reduce water losses by improving conveyance efficiency. The project consists of the following main components:

  • Installation of two supplemental vertical turbine pumps with natural gas powered motors; and
  • Installation of a 36”pipeline to connect each pump to the conveyance line that will transport the water to the supply canal.


The pump station improvements will significantly reduce energy requirements, as well as increase water conveyance efficiency, thereby reducing water losses from seepage and evaporation. Annual water savings are estimated at 13,385 ac-ft/yr, and energy savings at 832,030 kwh/yr. In addition, increased pumping capacity will allow the District to increase water availability and service reliability for its users. Operation and maintenance costs will also be reduced.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost US 1.98M
NADBank Funding US 0.99M - NADBank Grant: WCIF