Postprint version. Published in Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Volume 133, Issue 1, February 1, 2007, pages 2-11.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9437(2007)133:1(2).
This paper presents the need, value, and concept of flexible irrigation water supply systems that can deliver water with flexibility in frequency, rate, and duration under the control of the farmer at the point of application using a limited rate arranged-demand or other schedule. It introduces the needed terminology including “congestion” — how much reserve time and capacity is required to assure water delivery at the frequency and rate desired. An illustrative design procedure for the necessary pipeline and reservoir capacities is illustrated. The techniques discussed emphasize the conversion of the economical steady supply canal flows to flexible on-farm usage through the use of service area reservoirs located between the secondary and tertiary systems, and of semiclosed pipelines and/or level-top canals as automated distribution systems which facilitates the farmers’ need for daytime only variable on-farm deliveries to permit optimization of on-farm water management. This improved management is the ultimate source of increased food production after improved crop, land, and water resources have reached their maximum. The coordinated use of return flow systems is described.
Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering