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Estimation of irrigation water conduction losses in four rivers of the Laja system in Central Chile

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment Conference Proceedings, 21-24 February 2010, Universidad EARTH, Costa Rica  701P0210cd.(doi:10.13031/2013.29395)
Authors:   José Luis Arumí, Diego Andres Rivera, Alfonso Rougier, Ricardo Díaz
Keywords:   irrigation canal, management, groundwater surface water interaction, Chile, modeling

During the Chilean summer of 2008, a study was carry out to evaluate potential infiltration losses of the Laja-Diguilln irrigation-canal in four sections of rivers that are use for irrigation water conduction. The four rivers are Polcura, the upper part of the Laja, the Hupil (Itata) and a small section of the Diguilln. To evaluate infiltration losses, a three-month field campaign was done to study the rivers, measure flow rates, infiltration rates, implement observation wells and water sampling for chemical analysis. A conceptual hydrogeological model was establish and was used to validate the conclusions obtained from a monthly water balance model. Irrigation water conduction losses at the Polcura and the Upper Laja rivers are approximately 1.4 m3/s. That water feeds the aquifer located at the middle section of the Laja River. Infiltrations at the Hupil River are compensated by exfiltration from the aquifer. Losses at the short section of the Diguillin River are negligible.

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