Maintaining canal capacity and delivery feature reliability through the use of ultraviolet aquatic vegetation control.

Project ID: 20041
Principal Investigator: Scott Fennema
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2020, 2021 and 2022
Keywords: None

Research Question

Invasive aquatic macrophytes communities are becoming more of an issue in many canals and can place the communities near Reclamation facilities at risk by increasing the water surface elevation within canals to potentially unsafe levels. Numerous irrigation districts across Reclamation are forced to manage aquatic macrophytes by using chemical treatments, which can harm crops, or mechanical harvesting, which further spreads aquatic species. Pilot studies in concrete lined canal, Lake Tahoe, and laboratory settings have found the use of ultraviolet-c (UV) light as an effective and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical and mechanical methods of eradicating aquatic macrophytes. This research will test the efficacy of UV treatment as an environmentally safe alternative to treat aquatic vegetation in an unlined canal.

Need and Benefit

Aquatic vegetation in canals decreases the conveyance capacity and increases the risk of failure. Current management methods are ineffective, short-lived, can harm irrigated crops, and further spread nuisance vegetation. Intense ultraviolet light treatments have been proven effective to eradicate aquatic vegetation from lakes and concrete lined canals. This research will test the efficacy of ultraviolet to eradicate aquatic vegetation from unlined canal systems.

Contributing Partners

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Last Updated: 6/22/20