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Study of feasibility of night-closure of irrigation canals for water saving

A.R. Ghumman, Z. Khan and H. Turral

Agricultural Water Management, 2009, vol. 96, issue 3, 457-464

Abstract: The feasibility of closing distributary canals at night was investigated in a recently modernized surface irrigation system in Pakistan, the Upper Swat-Pehur High Level Canal system. Increased water supply, greater delivery capacity and the introduction of downstream control potentially allow more flexible service. In the command area of Maira branch of this system, farmers are anyway abandoning night-time irrigation, as they can meet their needs from improved supply during the day. They practice night irrigation only during the times of peak crop water demand. The rotational delivery system, known as warabandi in the sub-continent and Dauran in Arabian countries, has even broken down in the day in some parts of the command area. This is believed to be typical of systems with more than adequate water supply. A simulation study was undertaken using the CanalMan software developed by Biological & Irrigation Department, Utah State University, Utah Logan, USA. Primary data collected in one distributary canal and the two minors connected to it was utilized for simulations. The feasibility of night-time closure depends on the speed of filling and emptying the canal each day, and the time required to meet full irrigation demand during the day. The results show that where canal lengths are less than 5 km, in this system, there is good potential to make savings, which can be realized at system level through reduced demand on supplemental supplies from Tarbela Dam.

Keywords: Irrigation; canal; modernization; and; operation; Water; savings; Night-closure; Simulation; CanalMan; Pakistan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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