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Automatic Data Logging Systems : Advice Required - Goa

We, Mineral Foundation of Goa are implementing a Watershed Development project in North and South Goa. Under this we undertake a number of activities aimed at increasing the recharge and decreasing surface runoff. I intend to undertake a scientific study of correlation between rainfall and runoff in this microwatershed.

I am looking for an automatic rain gauge and also a runoff monitor to be fitted on the main nallah in a microwatershed which I am implementing in Goa. Can some one let me know of a very economical automatic data logger for rainfall and runoff measurement. I plan to use it during the forthcoming rainy season.

Do pass on contact information of suitable vendors, share your experiences with related equipment.

Dr. Sachin Tendulkar

Sr. Program Manager

Mineral Foundation of Goa




Dear Dr. Sachin Tendulkar,

Please go through below mentioned websites:-

With best regards,

Abhishek Mendiratta
Water Resource
New Delhi


Similar study was done for Mumbai area. You may contact Professor Kapil Gupta, ( of IIT Mumbai. He is a very knowledgeable person in this regard


Dear Dr. Sachin Tendulkar,

Similar system is installed in Adarsha watershed in Andhra Pradesh.

Kindly go through the link here: "Adarsha watershed"
"Adarsha watershed"

Asit Sahu
Rainwater Digest


Dear Dr. Tendulkar,

This is a bit complicated and I hope you have, or have access to, necessary expertise. Very briefly :

1: The data logger not only records the data, it also provides power supply to the sensors, and is programmed to read the sensors in some desired manner, e.g. after a given time interval, or whenever the data changes by a specified value, etc. The I/O ports on the logger have to match the sensors. Typically, the sensors give a pulse output, a 0-5 V analog output, a 4 – 20 mAmp analog output, a BCD digital output, and some sensors may even give a RS 232 serial output.

2: You will probably use a tipping bucket type rain gauge. This device has a switch that closes momentarily every time a certain fixed quantity of rainfall is recorded, say 0.5 mm. The output is a train of pulses and the number of pulses need to be counted. There is something called “switch bounce” and this has to be removed either through programming in the logger, or by add-on hardware.

3: Have you selected the water level sensors yet ? Probably the one suitable for you will be a pressure transducer type, which gives 0-5 V or 4-20 mAmp analog outputs.

4: Depending on channel conditions, the sensors may have to be installed in a stilling well.

5: The sensor does not give runoff directly. It only gives water level. To get the runoff, you need to construct a “rating curve”, i.e. a relationship between the water level and discharge. This is too complicated to be answered here and now, but remember that the relationship depends on whether the water level is rising or is falling. i.e. for the same water level, the discharge depends on whether the level is rising or falling.

6: I strongly advice against “economical” loggers which are often unreliable and their repair may be difficult. Often these are constructed as “one time” order and the supplier himself is unable to maintain them beyond warranty period. Hydro-meteorological data once lost it can never be reconstructed. An American company named Sutron has considerable presence in India, and therefore one can be reasonably assured of spares and service. You can get their address from the internet.

Chetan Pandit


Dear Sachin Tendulkar,

You can get an automatic raingauge from number of companies including Lawrence and Mayo. Automatic flow gauge I am not sure about the need. Automatic flow gauge is preferable when the quantum of flow needs to be accurately monitored for floods, irrigation management, velocity is high and the stream has water for large part of the year. Automatic Flow gauge for small watersheds will be an eye sore and inconsistent with the need.

Project Leader-APFAMGS

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