Click on “Download PDF” for the PDF version or on the title for the HTML version.

If you are not an ASABE member or if your employer has not arranged for access to the full-text, Click here for options.

Measuring the Erosion of an Irrigation Reservoir Levee

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 59(1): 41-48. (doi: 10.13031/trans.59.10751) @2016
Authors:   Daniel G. Wren, Yavuz Ozeren, Michele L. Reba
Keywords:   Groundwater conservation, Irrigation reservoir, Levee erosion, LIDAR, Surface water storage, Wave erosion.

Abstract. Increasing agricultural demands on limited groundwater resources in the Arkansas and Mississippi alluvial floodplain have created a growing need for the development of surface water resources. On-farm irrigation reservoirs are used to reduce dependence on groundwater supplies, but wind-induced wave erosion of levees creates an additional maintenance cost for producers. Measurements of levee erosion in a typical irrigation reservoir in east-central Arkansas were made with a ground-based LIDAR system and used to quantify erosion and estimate maintenance costs for irrigation reservoir levees. Approximately 1350 m3 of soil loss was measured from a 1530 m long levee during a seven-month period between December 2012 and July 2013. The damage was most severe in the northeast corner, where over 3 m of width were lost due to prevailing southerly winds blowing across the longest diagonal fetch length. Based on a typical cost (in 2014) for earth moving of $2.6 m-3, the cost to repair this loss would be approximately $3,500, resulting in a five-year maintenance cost of $17,500, which is about 16% of the initial cost of the levee. This research provides a basis for decision-making for producers who rely on irrigation reservoirs. Maintenance costs can be projected for a worst-case-scenario of levee erosion, and the cost of protection can be balanced against expected erosion and repair costs.

(Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)