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A mathematical model for simulating canal flows at Ubombo sugar

Author Affiliations

  • 1Ubombo Sugar Limited, P.O. Box 23, Big Bend, Swaziland
  • 2Ubombo Sugar Limited, P.O. Box 23, Big Bend, Swaziland
  • 3Ubombo Sugar Limited, P.O. Box 23, Big Bend, Swaziland

Res. J. Engineering Sci., Volume 6, Issue (8), Pages 13-17, September,26 (2017)


An empirical model is presented for estimating discharge on the Ubombo Sugar Limited (USL) main gravity canal to augment bulk water management and water use efficiency. It uses stage readings obtained from measuring flumes A, B, C, and UPS to simulate discharge. The rationale for the development of the mathematical flow simulation model is the significance of the UPS flume as it measures readings that influence the daily operations of the farm, and the experiences with the ultrasonic flow meter installed in the flume. The model also provides a first for the simulation of accurate flow rates for flumes A, B, and C. A spreadsheet program that enables express prediction of canal flow rates was developed to influence timely implementation of these water management decisions. Calibrations demonstrated that the model is capable of predicting discharge at high accuracy (p>95%), and can be reliably used as a decision support tool for bulk water management. It can also be expanded to include other water measuring structures along Canal 1 and Canal 2, as well as the development of a stand-alone water management application for desktop and mobile computers. Although the model is appropriate for on-farm water management, it was developed for a specific canal and has not been tested for transferability.


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