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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Water Management and Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #232649

Title: Application of software for automated canal management (SacMan) to the WM lateral canal

item Clemmens, Albert
item Strand, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2009
Publication Date: 5/15/2009
Citation: Clemmens, A.J., Strand, R.J. 2010. Application of software for automated canal management (SacMan) to the WM lateral canal. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. 136(7)451-459.

Interpretive Summary: Automation of irrigation canals provides potential for many water districts to improve their operations and conserve water. Most of the canal automation that has been used in practice consists of local automatic control for individual gates or a centralized control scheme developed for a particular canal. Few of the published centralized control schemes have actually been tested on real canals. In this paper, a centralized control scheme, Software for Automated Canal Management or SacMan, is presented. It is developed for use with commercial remote control systems, and can be applied to any canal system. The system is extremely flexible and allows different control features to be implemented on different parts of the system, thereby simplifying the implementation process. The system was tested for a period of 30 days on the WM canal at the Maricopa Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District, Stanfield, AZ. The various features of the control scheme are presented along with some example result. More complete results will be presented in companion papers. These results will be of use to irrigation and large water districts, the Bureau of Reclamation, and consultants.

Technical Abstract: Simulation studies have demonstrated that automatic control of canals is more effective when feedforward scheduling, or routing of know demand changes, is combined with centralized, automatic, distant, downstream-water-level control. In practice, few canals use this approach. To help further develop and test this strategy, the authors developed SacMan, or Software for Automatic Canal MANagement. The software was tested on the WM lateral of the Maricopa Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District, Stanfield, AZ. Initial testing was done during 2002 and 2003. In 2004, SacMan was used to operate the canal nearly continuously for a period of 30 days. Tests were conducted during normal operations, during which more than 50 delivery changes to users were scheduled and implemented with SacMan. In addition, SacMan responded to unscheduled changes such as emergency shut off and power outages that reduced well flow that had been pumping into the canal. Additional "manufactured" tests were conducted to compare different control methods. This paper describes the overall SacMan control scheme and presents a summary of the tests conducted and typical results. Companion papers examine the results of these tests in more detail.