Seasonal operational model for water management within irrigation districts
Reservoir operators typically determine flow releases by assessing the available storage and demand and then applying a rule?of?thumb. Thus, in spite of numerous previous and current computer modelling studies, the use of computer models in real?time reservoir operation on a district level is virtually nonexistent. The resulting water savings offer the opportunity to increase river flows, making greater volumes of water available to irrigated agriculture to reduce drought risks, or support irrigation sector expansion that meets all water licenses and in?stream water?quality objectives. Our proposed computer model will use runoff forecasts and historical runoff patterns, along with advanced optimization technique to update operational guidance based on current storage levels and crop demands. Six major irrigation districts in Alberta are participating as project partners and they will be involved in evaluating this tool. If the project succeeds, the tool could be linked as a web application with Alberta Agriculture and Forestrys Irrigation Demand Model (IDM) and offered to both provincial and international audiences.