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Measuring Water Flow and Rate on the FarmProper water management involves two basic considerations: when and how much irrigation water to apply. The timing of an irrigation event (the when) involves utilizing information on plant needs and soil water conditions. How much depends primarily on the soil’s water holding capacity, the depletion level and the rooting depth of the crop. Once you have calculated how much water to apply, how can you be sure that you have accurately applied that amount? Or, if you miss your target amount, how do you determine how much water you actually applied? The amount of water applied to a field is a function of time, flow and area. The time of an irrigation is easily recorded. The amount of area irrigated is also easily calculated. However, estimating flow rate in an open ditch is often guess work, at best. In this bulletin we shall discuss ways to measure water flow in an open ditch.