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Automation in the West Delta Canal, San Luis Canal Company, CA

Currently, most irrigation systems cannot be managed to their potential because of the lack of water delivery flexibility provided by districts, caused by large delay times in systems that can only be operated manually.  Only about 5% of California's canal structures (check gates and pumps) are presently automated, representing a serious roadblock to rapid modernization of California's agricultural water delivery infrastructure.

ITRC has made major theoretical and practical advances in the past 20 years in computerized canal automation.  ITRC is able to simulate actual flows, velocities, and water depths throughout a complete system and can provide specific information for any position within a pool in time increments as small as one second.  With the information gleaned from these simulations, ITRC has created completely new control algorithms necessary to automate gates and pumps in vast canal systems.  ITRC also works with the major integrator companies that physically install automation equipment in irrigation districts.  Our center specializes in complete automation plans that incorporate both sophisticated and simple structures and concepts.

In addition, ITRC has developed design procedures for the ITRC flap gate, which requires no electricity and works automatically at over 200 locations in California.  ITRC has successfully implemented computerized automation projects on large and small canals in: