On May 26 Rubicon Water signed an agreement to supply its Network Control solution to the Shule River Basin Authority’s Chang Ma irrigation district in Gansu province.
Rubicon’s Site Management solution was installed in 2012 and involved installing FlumeGates and SCADAConnect software at a number of independent sites. Now, Shule River Basin Authority wants to completely automate Chang Ma’s main canals. With the Network Control solution, FlumeGates will be installed along the length of the main canals and will automatically adjust to maintain stable water levels and to supply just the water taken from the canal system for irrigation. Shule River anticipates a large increase in delivery efficiency by avoiding unnecessary spills out the end of their canals.
Installation of 68 FlumeGates will commence in August and Network Control will be operational in time for the next irrigation season in October 2014.
In the future, Shule River plans to upgrade their Network Control solution to Rubicon’s Demand-Integrated Network Control solution, which is used in Australia’s Shepparton Irrigation Area. Here, in addition to canal automation, farmers can manage their water delivery requests online and automated turnouts supply the exact amount of water ordered at the requested flow rate.
As well as benefitting local farmers, the solution at Chang Ma will play an important role in demonstrating how Rubicon’s technology can help address water scarcity and food security issues throughout China. As part of its involvement with in the Australia-China Joint Research Centre for River Basin Management, Rubicon Water, together with research partner Tsinghua University will demonstrate how the technology can contribute to improving agricultural productivity, environmental sustainability and the sustainability of rural communities in China.
Patrick (Lingjie) Wang, Rubicon Water’s General Manager for China, said the technology is ideal for Chinese irrigation districts. “The Basin Authority was very impressed when they saw the benefits Network Control has delivered to irrigation districts over many years in Australia. Both countries have been experiencing similar issues with water scarcity and improving canal management is one of the most cost-effective ways of increasing water availability”.
The Shule River Basin Authority is responsible for the management of water within the Shule River Basin. Shule River is one of three inland river basins in Gansu province. It is 415 miles long, annual average runoff is 40,000 acre feet and has an irrigation area of two million acres.