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Successful Canal Automation

Case studies from around the World

Ajay Pradhan and Sumith Choy


ACIWRM
16 Oct 2015
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Presentation Outline

Canterbury Plains New Zealand

Tamil Nadu India

Gansu, China

Shepparton, Australia

The challenges of projects in irrigation


sector

Concerns that the automation solution wont work


in their environment
Common barriers/concerns and perceptions that
need to be addressed
Canal too steep or too flat
Climate is too hot or too cold or too humid
Staff will not be able to adapt
Customers will not be able to adapt
Investment may be difficult to justify
Benefits may not be apparent
Vandalism
To alleviate these concerns a small scale
implementation or pilot is often implemented
Three such pilot projects are described within, with
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two
resulting in significant scale projects

Canterbury Plains New Zealand


Rangitata Diversion Race
constructed between 1937 and 1944
Run of the river irrigation scheme
diverts Rangitata River North East
across the top of the Canterbury
Plains
Operated by wholesale company
RDR to supply three retail schemes
Ashburton Lyndhurst
Mayfield Hinds
Valetta
Canal System known as races and
manually operated by racemen
Races extremely steep (Landscape
1:65!)
Historical operation by border dyke
application inefficient on shallow
soils with limited water holding
capacity
Trending to dairy production
Pivots rapidly replacing border dyke
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RDR Flow

26 Miles
1200 feet elevation
change

Modernization Journey
Software introduced in 2007 to record where the
raceman delivered the water;
A regulatory requirement to capture application
intensities
A transition to formal customer water ordering
SCADA system installed with annual program to
add FlumeGates with Local automation at critical
sites
2013 decision to build ponds and gravity pipe
system to drive pivots with automated network
control backbone race to replenish
Construction is underway
Farmer water orders will seamlessly control
valves

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Tamil Nadu, India


Project initiated by World Bank
Objectives to demonstrate that
canal automation could work
effectively and that local staff are
capable of operating successfully
Project Scope
New structure construction
Gate installation and commissioning
SCADA communication system
installation and commissioning
SCADA server and remote access
environment established
Staff training
Stakeholder engagement
Project successfully implemented in
2008
Tamil Nadu government elected not to
take up World Bank Loan
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Gangsu, China
Water Scarce region in North Western China
Steep gradient canals with little storage and therefore a downstream
control strategy infeasible
10 FlumeGates and communication and software system installed
Operators enter required flow into software system and flow is routed in
an upstream control regime without human intervention
Significant water savings realised
Improved customer service
Project delivered in
conjunction with Gansu
University
System has been expanded
with another 60 FlumeGate
System operates in network
control

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Goulburn Murray Water - Shepparton


Shepparton Irrigation Area Recovers Environmental Water and
Improves Agricultural Productivity
Context
The Shepparton Irrigation Area in Victoria, Australia diverts 150 GL of water annually to
2,500 irrigation customers via 700 km of earthen channels
Situation
Over-extraction of water from the Murray River and its tributaries resulted in poor wetland,
lake and floodplain health
30% of the water diverted to the Shepparton Irrigation Area was lost during transmission
Irrigators received a poor service: inconsistent flows, four day lead times, inequitable
supply, inaccurate measurement onto the farm
Solution
Rubicons Complete Automation Solution was
implemented throughout the district

Results
Delivery efficiency improved from 70% to 90%
29 GL of water recovered annually for environmental
watering without decreasing irrigation water
availability
All farmers now irrigate more productively with high,
consistent flows, and near on-demand service
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Thank you

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Automation - Definition
Webster Dictionary says
The act of implementing the control of equipment
with advanced technology; usually involving
electronic hardware: automation replaces human
workers by machines
In our view canal automation involves either/or the
following activities;
Software systems to capture and plan demand and
operational logistics
Communication systems with actuated gates and
meters
30Local site automation or System (Network based)