Modeling delivery performance in pressurized irrigation systems from simulated peak-demand flow configurations

Daniele Zaccaria, Christopher M.U. Neale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A methodology to assess performance of pressurized irrigation distribution networks is presented, which is based on generation of flow configurations from simulated delivery scenarios, and on subsequent analysis of network operation and delivery achievements. The rationale of the methodology entails simulating the peak-demand flow configurations in the pipe network through a deterministic-stochastic combined agro-hydrological model, and forecasting the delivery performance by means of a hydraulic simulation model and of some specific performance indicators. The agro-hydrological model generates disaggregated information on soil water deficits for all the cropped fields downstream from the delivery hydrants, and forecasts the demand flow hydrographs and irrigation deliveries for the entire service area during peak-demand periods. The simulated-demand flow configurations are then passed on to the hydraulic simulation model, which evaluates the hydraulic performance achievable by the pipe network. The performance analysis is then refined using additional indicators specifically adapted to pressurized irrigation networks. The proposed methodology was applied to a large-scale pressurized irrigation system of southern Italy that is in need of modernization. Results proved the usefulness of the combined use of simulation tools as components of an analytical framework to address modernization and re-engineering of existing irrigation delivery networks, on the basis of targeted delivery performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-317
Number of pages23
JournalIrrigation Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science


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