Database-driven hydraulic simulation of canal irrigation networks using object-oriented high-resolution methods
Canal hydraulic models can be used to understand the hydraulic behaviour of large and complex irrigation networks at low cost. A number of computational hydraulic models were developed and tested in the early 1970s and late 80s. Most were developed using finite difference schemes and procedural programming languages. In spite of the importance of these models, little progress was made on improving the numerical algorithms behind them. Software development efforts were focused more on developing the user interface rather than the core algorithm. This research develops a database-driven, object-oriented hydraulic simulation model for canal irrigation networks using modern high-resolution shock capturing techniques that are capable of handling variety of flow situations which includes trans-critical flow, shock propagation, flows through gated structures and channel networks. The technology platforms were carefully selected by taking into account a multi-user support and possible migration of the new software to a web-based one which integrates a Java-based object-oriented model with a relational database management system that is used to store network configuration and simulation parameters. The developed software is tested using a benchmark test suite formulated jointly by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency (EA). A total of eight tests (seven of them adapted from the DEFRAjEA benchmark suite) were run and results compiled. The developed software has outperformed ISIS, REC-RAS and MIKE 11 in three of the benchmark tests and equally well for the other four. The outcome of this research is therefore a new category in hydraulic simulation software that uses modern shock-capturing methods fully integrated with a configurational relational database that has been fully evaluated and tested.