Location: Crop Production Systems Research Unit
Title: Developing A Modeling Tool for Flow Profiling in Irrigation Distribution Network Authors
Submitted to: International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 2009
Publication Date: September 15, 2009
Citation: Huang, Y. and Flipps, G. 2009. Developing A Modeling Tool for Flow Profiling in Irrigation Distribution Networks. International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. 2(3):17-26. Interpretive Summary: The irrigation districts are being rehabilitated for conservation of urban and agriculture irrigation water while supporting social, economic and environmental development in the Rio Grande Basin of Texas and New Mexico. Irrigation channels, which form water distribution networks, can be modeled using hydraulics and mathematics. The models are able to help various analyses for rehabilitation planning, water demand, supply and loss, and water distribution automation. Although commercial software is available, it is limited in modeling irrigation districts because of the high cost of establishing all the parameters required for the program. A modeling tool was developed that provides quick modeling of water flow profile over the irrigation channels in the water distribution networks. The modeling tool is a simple, fast, reliable and accurate method to model irrigation water distribution networks. The modeling tool will provide guidance in planning, analysis and development of conservation irrigation systems.
Technical Abstract: Efforts are underway to rehabilitate the irrigation districts, such as in the Rio Grande River Basin in Texas. Water distribution network models are needed to help prioritize and analyze various rehabilitation options, as well as to scientifically quantify irrigation water demands, usages, and losses, and to help manage gate automation. However, commercially available software packages were limited in applications due to their high cost and operational difficulty. This study is to develop a modeling tool for modeling the water flow profile in irrigation distribution networks and addresses the issues of GIS (Geographic Information System) integration to aggregate spatial distributed information and GUI (Graphic User Interface) building for user-friendly access to enhance the tool. The goal of developing the modeling tool is to make the modeling process simple, fast, reliable and accurate. On the basis of theoretical study, the procedures and algorithms are developed and verified from a single channel to a branching network with higher complexity. The developed modeling tool will be able to play an important role in water quantification for planning, analysis and development for modernization of irrigation systems.