Investigation of Main Supply Canal and Lateral Fluctuations

by Karen I. Holdsworth, Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial, CA, USA,
Robert J. Lang, Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation Systems for the 21st Century


The Imperial Irrigation District and the U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory of Phoenix, Arizona are conducting a joint project to study the causes and effects of water level fluctuations in an open channel irrigation system. Two distribution laterals and the associated main supply canal are being monitored. Water depth measurements are taken at 76 sites. An analysis of water level fluctuations at the inlet of each lateral indicated that main supply canal fluctuations affect both laterals equally even though one lateral is located 700 ft (210 m) upstream of a control structure and the other is 14,800 ft (4,500 m) upstream of a control structure. Main supply canal water level fluctuations are less than four percent. Flow fluctuations within each lateral tend to increase in the direction of flow.

Subject Headings: Water conservation | Canals | Irrigation districts | Laboratory tests | Rivers and streams | Structural control | Open channels | Irrigation systems

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