Journal of irrigation and drainage engineering vol:135 issue:1 pages:50-57
This paper demonstrated how a modeling approach can be used to find the optimal mix of farmers' water management practices to improve irrigation efficiency at the tertiary level in collective canal schemes. The approach is developed for the case of the Office du Niger and based on a field study of 3 years. First, a simulation model is presented in which all relevant physical and social aspects of water management at the farmers' level are considered. Next, simulations are performed to evaluate the impact on performance of different combinations of management practices and different external conditions. Finally, the combinations are selected that succeed in limiting seasonal water consumption to 1,400 mm and avoiding irrigation problems, but which are also realistic from a farmer's point of view. Results demonstrate that in the Office du Niger, where seasonal water consumption per hectare should be reduced by about 30%, a tight control of the tertiary intake in combination with a good maintenance of the tertiary canal should be proposed. Although the model software is built especially for the case of the Office du Niger, the concept of the model can be transferred to other irrigation schemes, as it uses only simple hydraulic principles and limited data input.