Optimizing irrigation water allocation in a multi-stage pumping system

The research article 'Optimizing regional irrigation water allocation for multi-stage pumping-water irrigation system based on multi-level optimization-coordination model' has been published in Elsevier's Journal of Hydrology X.


The optimal allocation and utilization of irrigation water are particularly significant but complex in multi-stage pumping-water irrigation systems which involve both water distribution processes and machine operation management. This paper proposes a regional optimization-coordination model for optimizing irrigation water allocation in complex multi-stage pumping-water irrigation system, which is developed according to actual water use problems in Guhai pumping-water irrigation system (GPIS) located in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, northwest China.

The model is a three-level hieratical structure with minimum water deficiency and energy cost as two objectives for better describing the coordination and constraint between multiple levels of irrigation planning and decision making. The three levels deal with the optimal schemes of pumping and allocating water in each single pumping-irrigation subdistrict (PIS) (first level), among multi-stage pumping-irrigation subdistrict of each subsystem (second level) and among different subsystems (third level) respectively. The model is solved by using decomposition-coordination method and each level is connected and iterated through the exchange of coordinating variables. The model is applied and tested in the optimizations of pumping and allocating water for each PIS in each period in GPIS.

Results show that the range of water deficiency among different PIS is significantly reduced and pumping-water amount for the lower-stage PIS is particularly increased under different conditions of total water delivery amount. Spatial-temporal contradictions of water supply among multi-stage pumping stations could be effectively alleviated through optimizations. The application indicates that the optimization-coordination model is practical and effective for decision-making of irrigation water management in the complex multi-stage pumping-water irrigation system, and could be a reference for other similar irrigation systems worldwide.

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