Flow Measurement with Canal Radial Gates

Project ID: 1281
Principal Investigator: Tony Wahl
Research Topic: Agriculture Water Supplies
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010
Keywords: None

Research Question

* Can we develop new algorithms and user-friendly computational tools that will dramatically improve our ability to accurately measure flows at canal check-gate structures?

Such technologies will facilitate timely, accurate, and efficient delivery of water and reduce the need for construction of new, dedicated water measurement structures. This research will improve the accuracy of measurements made with canal check-gates, which has traditionally been fair at best and poor in some operating conditions.

Need and Benefit

The greatest need for water flow rate measurement to improve management and operation of open channel irrigation delivery systems arises at canal control structures, such as in-line check structures, bifurcations, and turnouts. In the past, accurate water measurement has usually required the construction or installation of dedicated flow measurement structures or equipment in close vicinity to control structures. This project pursues a variety of technologies that promote the accurate measurement of discharge at canal gates themselves, both existing gates and new gate designs now under development. This project has several related objectives:

* Develop improved algorithms for calibrating undershot gates, specifically canal radial gates. These algorithms may also ultimately be applicable to slide gates, with minor modification

* Develop software to implement gate calibration algorithms

* Work cooperatively with developers of new gates specifically designed for accurate discharge measurement to demonstrate these technologies in lab and/or field settings (e.g., Langemann bi-fold overshot gate, Rubicon FlumeGate, and the Adler Automated Metering Gate [an improved radial gate design])

* Provide professional leadership for industry efforts to improve flow measurement at all types of canal gates

This work supports Reclamation's mission and the goals of the Science and Technology (S&T) program. Accurate measurement methods enhance western water supplies by providing the tools needed to manage and deliver water in the most efficient possible manner, thus liberating water for other beneficial uses. There is also a potential for cost savings, since existing infrastructure is used for flow measurement purposes.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Measuring Flow Rate through Canal Check Gates (final, PDF, 367KB)
By Tony Wahl
Publication completed on September 30, 2010

This bulletin summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.


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Last Updated: 4/4/17