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Predicting Irrigation Return Flow Rates

Bondurant, J.A. and Brockway, C.E. and Brown, M.J. (1979) Predicting Irrigation Return Flow Rates. Transaction of the ASAE. 21(6):1142-1143.

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DESIGNING efficient sediment ponds requires
data on expected sediment concentration and
particle size distribution and on stream flow rate
and volume. With these data, ponds may be designed
to trap given particle sizes, and the quantities of trapped
and passed sediment can be computed (Bondurant
et al., 1975).

In the context of Public Law 92-500, the Clean
Water Act amendments of 1972, return flow from
man-controlled irrigation may be classified as point
source pollution and, therefore, permits may be required
to discharge these return flows into rivers or
streams. Little is known about return flows from most
irrigation districts. Water, sediment, and chemical
balances of the Twin Falls Canal Company and the
Northside Canal Company areas in southern Idaho
yielded information on flow and sediment concentrations
and volume (Brown et al., 1974). Many of
the return flow streams in this area had not been
previously studied, and very little was known about
their flow characteristics. Many return streams are
ephemeral, flowing only in response to runoff from
irrigation and regulation waste. More information
is needed on these streams so that efficient and economical
sediment ponds may be designed and constructed.
If a pond is designed for too small a stream, the
efficiency will be low and sediment removal will
not be adequate. If the pond is designed for too large
a stream, the efficiency will be improved but the
cost will be greater than necessary.

Hydrologic techniques for predicting, stream flow
rates are mainly concerned with peak flows and
maximum and minimum expected annual runoff.
Predictive techniques utilize double-mass plots, rating
curves, and extreme value techniques (Linsley et al.,
1949). These techniques are for precipitation induced
runoff and not for irrigation runoff. New techniques
for predicting return flow rates from irrigated areas
need to be developed.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0418
Subjects: Mass Import - unclassified
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:52
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017 20:35
Item ID: 349