Event Title

Learning from the past, looking at the future: The influence of spring runoff water availability on irrigation performance

Presenter Information

Jonna Van Opstal
Christopher Neale

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu

Start Date

1-4-2014 1:40 PM

End Date

1-4-2014 2:00 PM

Description

For mountainous regions, such as Northern Utah, the winter snow pack predominantly determines the water availability for the agricultural growing season. During the growing season the precipitation is generally scarce and infrequent. Irrigation is made possible through the capturing of snow melt in the reservoirs and/or diversions of runoff in the rivers. The spring runoff predictions are used by the irrigators to anticipate the seasonal water availability, and manage the farm and cropping pattern accordingly. Irrigation management and the decisions taken by irrigators differ depending on the quantity of water available. Irrigation scheduling and crop rotations are a few examples of irrigation management subject to change depending on the availability of water. These management decisions impact the ET and the runoff from the system and ultimately the regional hydrology. These components of the water balance can be evaluated using remote sensing, irrigation diversions, and water flow data. This study examines the irrigation management and performance of the Bear River Canal Company, which is an agricultural irrigation district located in Northern Utah. This region is characterized by a cycle of wet and dry years, which makes it possible to compare the performance at different levels of water availability. Satellite imagery from the past decade covers a few dry years (for example 2004), wet years (for example 2011) and normal years (for example 2009). The two source energy balance model (TSM) is used to estimate the ET of this agricultural area throughout the irrigation season. Further calculations are performed to determine the irrigation efficiency and depleted fraction of this irrigation system, using canal diversion data. The results from this study give insight on the management and performance of irrigation systems at different levels of water availability. This information will be relevant to decision-makers to understand the current trends in irrigation management and modifications that need to be made to cope with potential influences of climate change in this region.

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Apr 1st, 1:40 PM Apr 1st, 2:00 PM

Learning from the past, looking at the future: The influence of spring runoff water availability on irrigation performance

Eccles Conference Center

For mountainous regions, such as Northern Utah, the winter snow pack predominantly determines the water availability for the agricultural growing season. During the growing season the precipitation is generally scarce and infrequent. Irrigation is made possible through the capturing of snow melt in the reservoirs and/or diversions of runoff in the rivers. The spring runoff predictions are used by the irrigators to anticipate the seasonal water availability, and manage the farm and cropping pattern accordingly. Irrigation management and the decisions taken by irrigators differ depending on the quantity of water available. Irrigation scheduling and crop rotations are a few examples of irrigation management subject to change depending on the availability of water. These management decisions impact the ET and the runoff from the system and ultimately the regional hydrology. These components of the water balance can be evaluated using remote sensing, irrigation diversions, and water flow data. This study examines the irrigation management and performance of the Bear River Canal Company, which is an agricultural irrigation district located in Northern Utah. This region is characterized by a cycle of wet and dry years, which makes it possible to compare the performance at different levels of water availability. Satellite imagery from the past decade covers a few dry years (for example 2004), wet years (for example 2011) and normal years (for example 2009). The two source energy balance model (TSM) is used to estimate the ET of this agricultural area throughout the irrigation season. Further calculations are performed to determine the irrigation efficiency and depleted fraction of this irrigation system, using canal diversion data. The results from this study give insight on the management and performance of irrigation systems at different levels of water availability. This information will be relevant to decision-makers to understand the current trends in irrigation management and modifications that need to be made to cope with potential influences of climate change in this region.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2014/2014Abstracts/15