22-27 September 2019
Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)
Europe/Madrid timezone

Reducing Groundwater Overexploitation and Energy Consumption within Irrigation Districts by Automating Canal Operation: A Case Study in Iran

Not scheduled
Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)

Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)

Av. de José Ortega y Gasset, 201 29006 Malaga, Spain
Oral Topic 3 - Groundwater sustainability and governance Parallel


Dr Seied Mehdy Hashemy Shahdany (Assistant Professor, University of Tehran)


Unreliable performance of surface water conveyance and distribution systems in irrigation districts located in semi-arid regions of Iran resulted in increasing dependence on groundwater resources. For instance, in Qazvin Irrigation District, the “scheme irrigation efficiency”(sub-dividing in “conveyance efficiency” and “field application efficiency”) has decreased annually about 1% from 1900 to 2016. Accordingly, efficiency had declined from 48% in 1990 to 30% in 2016. In such conditions, around 347 MCM have annually extracted from the aquifer an additional source alongside surface water resources to meet their water demands. However, pumping groundwater has been led to adverse impacts on the aquifer (e.g., lower water table), environmental consequences (e.g., CO2 emissions due to diesel or electro engines). In this study, the impacts of upgrading the main irrigation canals water distribution and delivery systems, by employing Centralized Model Predictive Control (CMPC), on reducing the water pumping from the aquifers and consequently on reducing energy consumption, is investigated. To achieve this objective, an automated operational model employing the CMPC system is designed, calibrated and tested. Performance of the designed automated control system is compared to the current operating of the canal networks under the severe water shortages scenarios. According to the scenario, the canal inflow (i.e., the discharge releasing to the main canal) decreases by 20 percent while the water demands along the main canal are kept constant. The results reveal employing the centralized MPC system not only increased the cultivated area supplied by the surface water to 70%, but also the mentioned regions are fairly spread along the main canal from the upstream to the downstream parts. Thanks to the centralized inherent of the MPC, the water delivery practices are also improved from an equality perspective. In the next step, the spatial distribution of the adequacy of water distribution alongside the main canal is projected, to demonstrate consequences of enhancing the surface water distribution systems on the aquifer’s water extraction. The results show that about 28.3% groundwater overexploitation reduction over the study region. This amount of reduction in the groundwater extraction leads to 21.3% energy saving due to shutting off pumping of the currently deep and semi-deep tube-wells. The proposed framework of this study can be used for the assessment of the impacts of irrigation network operation on aquifers restoration and energy consumptions.

Primary authors

Dr Seied Mehdy Hashemy Shahdany (Assistant Professor, University of Tehran) Dr Saman Javadi (Assistant Professor, University of Tehran)

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