09 Mar SCBID Launches New Water Ordering and Information Web Portal
In September 2020, South Columbia Basin Irrigation District (SCBID) introduced a new website and water ordering and information web portal. Water users can order water online through a secure web portal from their smart phone, tablet, or computer.
SCBID worked closely with the developer, Central Valley Software Solutions (CVSS) in Fresno, California, to customize the web portal so it provides our water users with the functionality and information they need. CVSS was chosen since they have provided a reliable solution to the District’s water assessment software needs for two decades. They understand the complexity of the District's database and related processes and committed to supporting the latest innovations in technology and software in their products. This is evident by the integrated and robust solution they have provided for the District’s ditch riders and field staff who use iPads for accurate daily recording and communication of canal flows, water orders, deliveries, and field notes, which update directly into the District’s database.
The web portal has been designed to provide a simplified and intuitive water ordering process. It includes comprehensive real-time information about user accounts, water orders, deliveries, and assessed land parcels. Once a user verifies their identity and account with the District, they can register on the portal and have access to all information tied to their account. A dashboard summary webpage shows totals and aggregate data, monthly water use compared to the previous season, as well as the boundary of each parcel and the location of turnout delivery points on the current Google satellite imagery map. Detailed information is accessible through each item on the dashboard and is thoughtfully laid out in tables using different colors and symbols for easy viewing of account transactions, individual turnout deliveries and orders, and water allotment associated with each parcel.
Since the District allows water allotments to be combined in complex ways, up-to-date details of water used and purchased in these combinations are also shown. Having instant access to their current combination balances is a very important feature for the District's users so they can manage their water efficiently, especially later in the season when additional water purchases may be needed. Another popular feature is the ability to download to a spreadsheet, all past account transactions, deliveries and orders within a date range so they can verify their records with that of the District at any time. These features eliminate having to contact their ditch rider or District office to obtain the same information.
The water ordering section of the web portal allows orders to be easily placed, modified, and deleted according to the District’s rules and regulations. When registering, users must provide a field contact phone number so they can be contacted immediately if any issue arises with an order placed through the portal. Orders are updated directly in the database which is immediately available for download to the iPads of appropriate ditch riders. Water users who choose to continue to use the traditional paper card ordering system can also register on the portal and see their orders the same day as soon as they are entered in the database by District staff. This allows water users the option to use both the web portal and the traditional card system to order water. From within the portal, users can add authorized users to have access to their account with the ability to restrict them to specific turnouts, and limit access to other information.
By placing water orders on the web portal, water users save time as they no longer need to drop off a signed paper order card for their ditch rider. The ability to quickly submit orders also allows them to wait until later in the day to decide on the order for the following day before the deadline for order placement. They also have less chance of misidentifying the turnout for an order because a list of their turnouts and parcels is linked to map locations. The system helps guide the user with popup help notifications and built-in logic to default to the earliest possible date for an order and keep orders in succession by preventing illogical or overlapping orders. Automated validations help prevent mistakes, such as showing a notification alert if an order is placed for a flow larger than the maximum used during the prior season for the turnout.
Ditch riders benefit from the digital orders by having them immediately accessible for download to their iPads to be viewed in a standardized format, eliminating writing and illegibility issues. They also save time by not having to collect and sort through paper cards. Similarly, District staff who verify that recorded deliveries match associated water orders can carry out their task more efficiently having all the data they need being available and in a centralized place.
Although the web portal is fully operational, it continues to be refined to improve functionality and respond to the needs of the District and its water users. One such update planned for the 2021 season is the addition of a Spanish language version.
Water users of the District who wish to register on the web portal should contact the District’s Pasco office to obtain their account number and security access code/PIN, then follow the link posted on the District’s webpage at www.scbid.org to access the login page. The District website is also an informative tool for water users. Current rates, block payout and Reclamation Reform Act information can be found on the website. It provides information regarding the Board of Director’s meetings such as past meeting minutes and the upcoming agenda. The District Rules and Regulations and By-laws are available for viewing. SCBID is committed to delivering water to District users efficiently and utilizing effective communication tools.