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Current Projects

Kerian Irrigation Scheme (Malaysia)

The Kerian Irrigation Scheme, which covers about 23,400 hectares (ha) of land on the coastal alluvial plain in northern peninsular Malaysia, provides water for paddy rice. It is the oldest and third largest granary area in the country. The primary source of irrigation supply for the Kerian Irrigation Scheme is from the Bukit Merah Reservoir. The Bogak Pumping Plant supplements the irrigation supply.

photo: canal

The agricultural policy of Malaysia, as described in the National Agricultural Policy (NAP3), is to attain 5.5 tons(t)/ha and 65 percent self-sufficiency in rice production by 2010. The basic strategic plans for achieving the goals of NAP3 are recommended in the "The Study on Modernization of Irrigation Water Management Systems in the Granary Areas of the Peninsular Malaysia, 1998." One recommendation was the introduction of telemetry/telecontrol and computerized systems to modernize the water management systems.

Because of a need for better water management and higher crop production, and concerns about possible future labor shortages, the Malaysian Department of Irrigation and Drainage is automating the principal water control structures on the Kerian Irrigation Scheme. The consulting firm of Ranhill Bersekutu is currently in the design stage of this effort. Provo Area Office staff have been advising Ranhill.

In advance of the bigger project, an automation demonstration system is being installed on the two existing slide gates at the head of Selinsing Canal at Bukit Merah Dam. The first step of this process is to install and test commercial actuators on two existing gates.

Once the gate actuators are fully tested, the remainder of the automation equipment will be installed including: a datalogger/controller, communication system, water-level sensors, and digital camera and server.

Data communication is by cellular telephone (GSM). A low-cost datalogger/controller will be used to monitor the state of the facility and control the gates. The gate control software will be a modified-PI algorithm. The water district will have a choice of two operating options: (1) manual remote control or (2) automatic remote control. The base station software to be used is the software provided by the datalogger manufacturer. The demonstration project is scheduled for completion in March 2001.

The complete Kerian Automation System will have several important differences from the system installed at the demonstration site. The overall system will be a combination of UHF, SHF high-speed wireless, and INMARSAT satellite links. Additionally the base station software will be an off-the-shelf SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) package.


Last updated: July 1, 2014