Submitted to: Workshop on Modernization of Irrigation Water Delivery Systems
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 21, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Water resources in the western United States are becoming increasingly scarce. Irrigation districts are under pressure to use water more judiciously. Improved operation of large water delivery systems has been touted as necessary for making proper use of these limited water supplies. Operation of irrigation-water delivery systems can be improved by providing gcanal operators with better tools for determining control actions. One suc tool is computerized automatic control of canal gates. While canal automation may appear simple in concept, it is actually a complex technical problem. This complexity has led to a large gap between theory and practice. The Salt River Project (SRP), a large water purveyor in central Arizona, requested the cooperation of the Agricultural Research Service's U.S. Water Conservation Lab to test the feasibility of canal automation of their system. This paper is a progress report on the pilot project to test canal automation feasibility of SRP's Arizona Canal. These results should be of use to irrigation districts, consultants, and the Bureau of Reclamation.
A canal automation system has been developed for the Salt River Project (SRP) canal system and is currently being tested on SRP's Arizona Canal. The system consists of three control algorithms. One is a sophisticated feedback controller that generates flow changes based on actual conditions and takes into account the interaction between adjacent pools in a canal. The second is a feedforward controller that generates flow changes based o scheduled demands and takes into account individual pool volume changes and delay times. The third controller uses the flow changes generated by the other two to operate the control structures. The controllers are designed to be used while the operator makes manual adjustments. The prototype automation system is being developed in three phases: phase 1, the development of the controllers and their testing on a simulation model; phase II, implementation for the Arizona Canal on SRP's SCADA system; and phase III, testing the system. Phase III is planned for the summer of 1999