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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of a Canal Control Method by Volume Compensation at the Salt River Project, Arizona)

item Bautista, Eduardo
item Wahlin, Brian
item Strand, Robert
item Clemmens, Albert

Submitted to: National Irrigation Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 19, 2001
Publication Date: September 21, 2001
Citation: Bautista, E., Gooch, R.S., Wahlin, B.T., Strand, R.J., Clemmens, A.J. 2001. Evaluation of a canal control method by volume compensation at the Salt River Project, Arizona). XI Congreso Nacional de Irrigation, Guanajuato, MX, Sept 19-21. CD Rom unpaginated

Interpretive Summary: Improved control in large irrigation canals can help improve the accuracy and timeliness of water deliveries to farms and facilitate on-farm water management. Irrigation system operators typically rely on experience and rules-of-thumb to determine a schedule of canal operations for known or anticipated water demands. Sophisticated canal scheduling techniques have been proposed in the past, but they are not practical for most field applications. A simple canal scheduling approach has been developed based on the principle of volume compensation. This approach has been successfully tested through simulation on a large canal system (1600 cfs maximum capacity) in Arizona. This control method can be used in other large water delivery systems and thus the method should be of interest to a wide range of agricultural and municipal water purveyors.

Technical Abstract: The USDA-ARS U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory is developing a feedforward control method for large canals. Using volume compensation principles, the method computes the operational schedule needed to meet known canal demands. A series of tests are being conducted to evaluate the method, in collaboration with the Salt River Project, an irrigation district in Arizona. The tests consist of simulation studies, comparison of the computed schedule with those developed manually by operators, and comparison of the computed schedule with actual water delivery operations. Results suggest that the method can improve the control of the studied canal system.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015
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