New tools developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are improving water management in arid regions. In areas where water is scarce, land managers irrigate with water that travels via intricate canal systems. At the ARS U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Ariz., director Bert Clemmens and his colleagues are developing computer software to automatically control canal gates.
The software, called Software for Automated Canal Management, or SacMan, senses water level changes within the canals and responds accordingly, moving the gates to increase or reduce the water flow. This technology could improve efficiency and give land managers greater control and flexibility. The researchers have also developed training software for canal operators.
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