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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Plug and Play Canal Automation: Is It Possible?

Authors
item Clemmens, Albert
item Feuer, L - AUTOMATA, GRASS VALLEY CA
item Strand, Robert

Submitted to: International Conference on Water Resources Engineering Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 7, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Water is becoming a scarce resource, and agricultural water users are under pressure to use it more judiciously. For many large irrigation projects, the physical infrastructure that delivers water to users influences their ability to manage the water supplied to them. Most large water delivery systems convey and distribute water with canals rather than pipelines. For rlarge scale systems, canals are an order of magnitude less expensive than pipelines. Infrastructure improvements (e.g., conversion to pressurized pipelines) are typically very expensive relative to changes in operations. Operations can be improved by providing canal operators with better tools for determining control actions. One such tool is computerized automatic control of canal gates. This technology, however, is not routinely available to irrigation district personnel and consultants. A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Automata, Inc. was established to develop a canal automation product line. The intent is for these canal automation products--hardware and software--to be essentially plug-and-play compatible. The paper provides a progress report on this development. These products should be of use to irrigation districts, consultants, and the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Technical Abstract: In 1995, Automata, Inc., a private manufacturer of agricultural sensing and control equipment, and the U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory (USDA- Agricultural Research Service) joined into a Cooperative Research Agreement and Development Agreement (CRADA) to develop a low-cost, integrated package for canal automation, including hardware and software, that would essentially make canal automation a plug-and-play system. The low cost of this integrated package is particularly applicable to smaller canals. This paper is a progress report on the ongoing development and field testing of this equipment and control methodology.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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