Effect of Reference Conveyance Parameter Usage on Real Time Canal Performance: The Case of Fentale Irrigation Scheme in Ethiopia
Computational Water Energy and Environmental Engineering
In designing a canal system, a major problem is to decide what conveyance parameter to apply in the calculations. Since basic knowledge on this subject is lacking, it is usually taken from literatures. Most of the irrigation projects in Ethiopia are found to work below their expectation. One of the main reasons is the conveyance parameters variation from the expected (design) value which ultimately affects the envisioned conveyance efficiency. To evaluate this variation, Fentale irrigation
... ale irrigation scheme was used as case study. The conveyance efficiency used at the design stage was 80%, which was within Food and Agricultural Organization of the united nations recommendations; while the field survey value was 17%. Such huge variation was due to the fact that the assigned conveyance parameter values (roughness coefficient, hydraulic radius and bed slope) no longer represent the current situation of the scheme. Such variation has resulted in increase in the depth and top width of the water surface which further resulted in 13% and 3% increase in wetted perimeter and top width of the canal, respectively. Thus this study suggests that conveyance parameters shall be derived from history of existing irrigation schemes in a country, rather than adopting it from standard literatures. As such construction quality, maintenance activities and technological transfer activities in a country shall be seen in deciding the conveyance parameters. The study also suggests that the ever increasing water shortage in an irrigation project could be managed by proper maintenance of the entire irrigation system.