Koech, Richard K. and Gillies, Malcolm H. and Smith, Rod (2010) Simulation modelling in surface irrigation systems. In: 2010 Southern Region Engineering Conference (SREC 2010), 11-12 Nov 2010, Toowoomba, Australia.
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Official URL: http://www.usq.edu.au/engsummit
Australia is one of the driest countries in the world and hence irrigation, and particularly surface irrigation, is a significant agricultural activity. In the recent past, efforts have been made towards devising strategies necessary for efficient use of water. The desire to optimise the dollar output of this scarce resource while at the same time conserving the environment is the main motivation for these efforts. Computer simulation models have the potential to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems and thus deliver significant water savings. This can be achieved by optimising the design and management decisions at the field level. The purpose of this paper is to review the simulation models that have been developed for surface irrigation. The impacts of these models in the irrigation industry in Australia as well as their limitations are also discussed. In the majority of the surface irrigation simulation models currently in use, previous field characteristics are used to optimise future irrigations. However, numerous researchers have established that these characteristics change both with time and space, and hence the accuracy of such models may be affected. A conceptual design of a computer simulation model suitable for use in automated furrow systems utilising adaptive real time control is presented. This is part of an on-going research project at USQ aimed at modernising the furrow system
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