Truckee Canal Seepage Study

Project ID: 1765
Principal Investigator: Evan Lindenbach
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2017, 2018 and 2019
Keywords: None

Research Question

Conveyance volume change is measured by weirs and valves along the canal length; changes in volume are a results of outtakes and losses. Losses occur from seepage (diffuse and localized), evapotranspiration, and other sinks. This research project is focused on quantifying diffuse seepage losses over the unlined sections of the Truckee Canal. Truckee Canal is relatively well characterized, so conducting the study here allows the project to inherit the existing exploration information.
Can a seepage rate vs. flow relationship be developed for Truckee Canal using the USGS thermal monitoring method? Can field techniques be used to establish reliable and verified thermal and hydraulic soil properties?

Need and Benefit

The Irrigation districts are charged with operating and maintaining the canals to serve Reclamations constituents. Programs are used to balance the demands and resources; the inputs for those programs require research and analysis to consider the spatial and temporal variations of the canal materials, ground and water temperatures, and flow regimes. This research will reducing seepage loss uncertainty and improve system reliability, planning accuracy and modeling. This research will increase the effectiveness of decision support systems , primarily through refinements to conveyance-scale water demands and the water budget. This research will help guide conveyance management, including rehabilitation, reconfiguration, and other improvement efforts, and it will help guide groundwater sustainability management, managed aquifer recharge (MAR), and water supply reliability and climate change analyses.

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.

Select Techniques for Detecting and Quantifying Seepage from Unlined Canals (final, PDF, 7.1MB)
By Evan J. Lindenbach, Jong Beom Kang, Justin B. Rittgers, Ramon C. Naranjo
Report completed on September 30, 2020

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

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Last Updated: 6/22/20