Handbook of flexible technologies for irrigation infrastructureFinal Report 4
Land & Water Australia. 2008. Handbook of flexible technologies for irrigation infrastructure. [Online] (Updated June 6th, 2012)
Available at: http://lwa.gov.au/node/2673 [Accessed Tuesday 12th of March 2013 02:41:37 PM ].
URS Australia was commissioned by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to prepare a handbook of technologies that are available to provide flexibility in irrigation delivery systems to deal with the varying irrigation demands which may occur in the future. The project follows on from a process of scenario planning which was used by the Department to develop a vision for the future of irrigated agriculture in the Goulburn-Broken Catchment of Northern Victoria.
Flexibility of irrigation delivery infrastructure may be considered as operational or strategic. The main difference between the two types of flexibility is the time scale for which flexibility is designed:
- operational flexibility is at a fine time scale – ie irrigation events in an irrigation season or over a few seasons;
- strategic flexibility seeks to provide for potential long term changes in irrigation needs, ie over a period of ten years or much longer.
The provision of strategic flexibility is the focus of the handbook.
An early step in developing the handbook was to establish an understanding of how and why the demand changes may evolve, the characteristics of the evolution, and the implications they have on irrigation infrastructure, particularly the need for flexibility and the nature of that flexibility. The early sections of this document provide a Framework of Understanding using discussion based on the Irrigation Futures identified for the Shepparton Irrigation Region (SIR) of northern Victoria. Similar futures may also be relevant to other irrigation regions in Australia, and the example for the SIR is offered as a guide for the reader in judging what circumstances may transpire elsewhere.
The document then proceeds to introduce and describe some technologies that may be considered for use in providing flexibility in irrigation distribution systems. The selection of these technologies has been based on the experience of irrigation system managers and designers of the irrigation systems in northern Victoria, and from consultation with similar professionals in irrigation systems in Australia and overseas. An approach for selecting and comparing options to provide flexibility is offered as part of the discussion on selecting technologies for use.
URS Australia Pty Ltd and Irrigation Futures Project Team
SeriesIrrigation in the Goulburn Broken Region