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Estimating Seepage Losses from Canal Systems

Worstell, R.V. (1976) Estimating Seepage Losses from Canal Systems. Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division. 102(IRI):137-147.

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Seepage and operational losses from distribution systems are continuing
problems for designers and managers of irrigation districts and for water users.
The designer must provide sufficient capacity in the canals to allow for these
losses, and the managers must divert extra water into parts of the system to
assure ample flow to the lower reaches of all laterals. The water users must
provide for ample storage to offset seepage losses. The managers also have
to deal with more complex legal and technical problems that arise if seepage
losses cause high water tables in fields adjacent to the canal.

As demands increase on all the water supplies of the West, regional and
state resource management agencies are looking critically at the large volumes
of water diverted by agriculture, especially when these volumes are much larger
than the amounts used in evapotranspiration. These agencies need guidelines
for more accurately determining reasonable water diversions to irrigated agriculture.
Some information is available. Hart (6) estimated seepage losses from
canals in several of the soils found in southern Idaho (Table 1), but such
information for other areas is not available in the literature. This paper presents
a simplified method that engineers and resource planners can use to estimate
seepage losses from new or existing canal systems.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0332
Subjects: Research methodology
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:51
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2017 20:57
Item ID: 289