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Appraisal and optimization of agricultural water use in large irrigation schemes: I. Theory

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Abstract

A new approach on the functioning of an irrigation scheme has been presented. A mathematical representation of the irrigation system based on measured system properties, such as losses due to percolation and to poor management, in only a part of the system is used. This mathematical representation is termed an equivalent irrigation network. The merit of this approach is that it reduces the number of required streamflow measurements.

When water amounts are measured for a number of paths in the irrigation network, so-called path efficiencies are obtained. The path efficiency is a measure of the amount of water lost along the way. The numerical model that simulates the operation of the irrigation system is based on the path efficiencies. This simulation model in turn is used to calculate different objective functions, corresponding with different optimization goals, like uniform water distribution, minimum groundwater extraction, minimum cost of water supply.

This paper gives the theoretical background of the approach. The application to an actual irrigation scheme will be discussed in a second paper.

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Menenti, M., Chambouleyron, J., Morábito, J. et al. Appraisal and optimization of agricultural water use in large irrigation schemes: I. Theory. Water Resour Manage 6, 185–199 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00872355

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Key words

  • Irrigation
  • mathematical model
  • path efficiency
  • percolation
  • water flow
  • water extraction
  • water supply