Submitted to: International Conference on Water Resources Engineering Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 18, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Water is becoming a scarce resource, and agricultural water users are under pressure to use water 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. From a management standpoint, distribution of water through pressurized pipelines would be more advantageous than delivery through canals, but for large-scale systems, canals are singificantly less expensive to construct. Conversion from canals to pipelines, likewise, is typically very expensive. Canal operations, however, can be improved by providing canal operators with better tools for determining control actions. Through field tests on an actual canal, progress is being made on one such tool: computerized automatic control of canal gates. This technology is not routinely available. The tests will determine the capabilities of various controllers, appropriate methods for tuning the controllers, and limitations in field application. The results of this work will benefit irrigation district personnel, consultants, and ultimately, farmers.
An irrigation district in central Arizona was constructed with motorized gates for all gates on the main canals and all lateral check gates. These gates can be controlled remotely through radio communication. The canal system has many canals with a wide range of characteristics. This provides an ideal setting for testing canal automation. One lateral canal, WM, was chosen for initial testing. This paper is a progress report and describes initial experiences with the application of automatic controls on this canal.