EvapCalc – a modest-cost technique for real-time measurement of evaporation (and seepage) from farm dams

Presentation


Hancock, Nigel and Symes, Troy. 2009. "EvapCalc – a modest-cost technique for real-time measurement of evaporation (and seepage) from farm dams." IWER 2009: International Workshop on Evaporation from Reservoirs. Gold Coast, Australia 09 - 11 Dec 2009 Gold Coast, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

EvapCalc – a modest-cost technique for real-time measurement of evaporation (and seepage) from farm dams

Presentation TypePresentation
AuthorsHancock, Nigel (Author) and Symes, Troy (Author)
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the International Workshop on Evaporation from Reservoirs (IWER 2009)
Year2009
Place of PublicationGold Coast, Australia
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.griffith.edu.au/conference/international-workshop-evaporation-from-reservoirs/abstracts
Conference/EventIWER 2009: International Workshop on Evaporation from Reservoirs
Event Details
IWER 2009: International Workshop on Evaporation from Reservoirs
Event Date
09 to end of 11 Dec 2009
Event Location
Gold Coast, Australia
Abstract

Non-consumptive water loss from farm reservoirs (‘dams’) comprises evaporation and also seepage because these storages are commonly unlined. It follows that for such dams actual evaporation measurement by geometry and simple water balance has hitherto been rendered seriously inaccurate, or at least highly uncertain due to the inability to partition the non-consumptive water loss. The alternative approach of assessing evaporation from the open water surface as atmospheric demand (by computation from atmospheric variables) is recognised as involving considerable uncertainty and the result is usually labelled an estimate (unless very detailed measurements are undertaken with high quality instrumentation).

This paper reports a measurement technique, encapsulated in software labelled ‘EvapCalc’, which for typical farm dams achieves the required partitioning of non-consumptive water loss and hence relatively accurate evaporation measurement. The technique uses water balance measurements in parallel with either standard local environmental measurements (Penman-Monteith-type ‘automatic weather station’ on-site) or localised Bureau of Meteorology data (e.g. SILO database: http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo/). The result is high-accuracy evaporation (and seepage) information at modest instrumentation cost. The technique and its implementation within EvapCalc comprises six steps:
1. Measurement of short-interval (15-minute) water loss via precision (<1mm depth) water depth change measurement using a submerged pressure-sensitive transducer (PST).
2. Simultaneous short-interval estimation of atmospheric evaporative demand, i.e. of actual evaporation from the open water surface.
3. Exclusion of days which have any periods (particular 15-minute intervals) of significant uncertainty in either the water balance measurement (e.g. due to detected rainfall or dam pumping operations) or in the evaporation estimate (e.g. due to AWS sensor failure or data unavailability).
4. Linear regression of all remaining 15-minute water loss and evaporation estimate pairs to derive a line of best fit based on the a priori estimation of the relative uncertainty in the two data sets.
5. Extrapolation of the fitted regression line to the evaporative-demand-equals-zero axis: the intercept on this axis then indicates seepage loss.
6. The rate of seepage, assumed constant, is then subtracted from the change-in-depth water loss measurements to yield a measurement of actual evaporation.
The evaporation measurement produced is then largely independent of the uncertainties inherent in the estimation of open water surface evaporation from atmospheric measurements alone.

In the paper practical details are set out for each step, in particular PST usage [Step 1] and the need for custom temperature calibration; estimation [Step 2] from AWS and water temperature data (Penman-Monteith, FAO56-formulation with modifications incorporating energy storage in the water body, albedo change with sun angle, and an area-dependent wind speed function); and the regression procedure [Step 3].

Results of the use of EvapCalc on a range of farm dams are presented, and also the results of sensitivity analysis with respect to alternative estimation formulae [Step 2]. The latter indicate that even with gross deficiencies in the atmospheric-demand estimate (e.g. the omission of water body energy storage consideration), the seepage loss determined – hence the measurement of actual evaporation (from the water balance) – are not greatly affected. Finally the applicability of the technique in relation to the configuration and management of typical farm dams is discussed. Likewise, the potential limitations with respect to other, non-farm reservoirs are also discussed.

It is concluded that the technique of EvapCalc is a useful practical tool for modest-cost open-water evaporation measurement.

Keywordsdams; evaporation; water management
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020300299. Agriculture, land and farm management not elsewhere classified
400513. Water resources engineering
Public Notes

Accepted abstracts will be presented in a workshop booklet - as made available here. If accepted they may be converted into a full paper and submitted for full review for publication in the proposed workshop proceedings.

Byline AffiliationsNational Centre for Engineering in Agriculture
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/9zz35/evapcalc-a-modest-cost-technique-for-real-time-measurement-of-evaporation-and-seepage-from-farm-dams

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Improving the performance of chemical monolayers in reducing farm dam evaporation
Craig, Ian, Schmidt, Erik, Hancock, Nigel, Barnes, Geoff, Turnbull, David J., Pittaway, Pam and Morrison, Pippa. 2006. "Improving the performance of chemical monolayers in reducing farm dam evaporation." 3rd CRC-IF Annual Research Forum. Narrabri, Australia 05 - 06 Dec 2006 Toowoomba, Queensland.
Development of a 'smart' monolayer application system for reducing evaporation from farm dams: introductory paper
Brink, Gavin, Symes, Troy and Hancock, Nigel. 2009. "Development of a 'smart' monolayer application system for reducing evaporation from farm dams: introductory paper." Banhazi, T. M. and Saunders, C. (ed.) SEAg 2009: Agricultural Technologies In a Changing Climate. Brisbane, Australia 13 - 16 Sep 2009 Brisbane, Australia.
EvapCalc software for the determination of dam evaporation and seepage
Craig, Ian, Schmidt, Erik and Hancock, Nigel. 2007. "EvapCalc software for the determination of dam evaporation and seepage." Banhazi, T. M. and Saunders, C. (ed.) SEAg 2007: Agriculture and Engineering - Challenge Today, Technology Tomorrow. Adelaide, Australia 24 - 26 Sep 2007 Adelaide, Australia.
Automated machine vision sensing of plant structural parameters
McCarthy, C. L., Hancock, Nigel and Raine, Steven R.. 2007. "Automated machine vision sensing of plant structural parameters." Biological Sensorics 2007: Critical Technologies for Future Biosystems. Minneapolis, Australia 15 - 17 Jun 2007 St. Joseph, MI, United States.
Development of a simulation framework for variable-rate irrigation of cotton
McCarthy, Alison, Hancock, Nigel and Raine, Steven R.. 2008. "Development of a simulation framework for variable-rate irrigation of cotton." 14th Australian Cotton Conference: New Beginnings – Cotton in a Climate of Change. Gold Coast, Australia 12 - 14 Aug 2008 Narrabri, NSW, Australia.
Managing spatial and temporal variability in irrigated agriculture through adaptive control
Smith, R. J., Raine, Steven R., McCarthy, Alison and Hancock, Nigel. 2009. "Managing spatial and temporal variability in irrigated agriculture through adaptive control." Australian Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Engineering. 7 (1), pp. 79-90.
Exploration of data requirements for adaptive control of irrigation scheduling
McCarthy, Alison, Hancock, Nigel and Raine, Steven R.. 2009. "Exploration of data requirements for adaptive control of irrigation scheduling." Banhazi, T. M. and Saunders, C. (ed.) SEAg 2009: Agricultural Technologies In a Changing Climate. Brisbane, Australia 13 - 16 Sep 2009 Brisbane, Australia.
Sensors in, for and by mechatronics: a symbiosis [Introduction]
Hancock, Nigel H.. 2000. "Sensors in, for and by mechatronics: a symbiosis [Introduction]." Billingsley, John (ed.) Mechatronics and machine vision. Baldock, United Kingdom. Research Studies Press. pp. 101-103
Automated carbon dioxide measurement via miniaturised chemical reaction chambers under mechatronic control
Maxwell, Andrew, Hancock, Nigel and Tran-Cong, Thanh. 2000. "Automated carbon dioxide measurement via miniaturised chemical reaction chambers under mechatronic control." Billingsley, John (ed.) Mechatronics and machine vision. Baldock, United Kingdom. Research Studies Press. pp. 135-142
Towards evaluation of adaptive control systems for improved site-specific irrigation of cotton
McCarthy, Alison, Hancock, Nigel and Raine, Steven R.. 2008. "Towards evaluation of adaptive control systems for improved site-specific irrigation of cotton." Irrigation Australia 2008: Irrigation Association of Australia National Conference and Exhibition: Share the Water, Share the Benefits. Melbourne, Australia 20 - 22 May 2008 Hornsby, NSW, Australia.
Managing spatial and temporal variability in irrigated agriculture through adaptive control
Smith, R. J., Raine, Steven R., McCarthy, Alison and Hancock, Nigel. 2007. "Managing spatial and temporal variability in irrigated agriculture through adaptive control." Banhazi, T. M. and Saunders, C. (ed.) SEAg 2007: Agriculture and Engineering - Challenge Today, Technology Tomorrow. Adelaide, Australia 24 - 26 Sep 2007 Australia.
Evaporation, seepage and water quality management in storage dams: a review of research methods
Craig, Ian, Aravinthan, Vasantha, Baillie, Craig Peter, Beswick, Alan, Barnes, Geoff, Bradbury, Ron, Connell, Luke, Cooper, Paul, Fellows, Christopher, Fitzmaurice, Li, Foley, Joseph P., Hancock, Nigel, Lamb, David, Morrison, Pippa, Mossad, Ruth, Misra, R. K., Pittaway, Pam, Prime, Emma, Rees, Steve, ..., Turnbull, David. 2007. "Evaporation, seepage and water quality management in storage dams: a review of research methods." Environmental Health. 7 (3), pp. 84-97.
Non-contact extrudate profilometer: introductory paper
Taylor, Reginald, Hancock, Nigel and Tran-Cong, Thanh. 1997. "Non-contact extrudate profilometer: introductory paper." Werner, B. (ed.) 4th Annual Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice (MViP 1997). Toowoomba, Australia 23 - 25 Sep 1997 USA. https://doi.org/10.1109/MMVIP.1997.625315
Carbon dioxide sensing - a mechatronic approach
Maxwell, Andrew, Hancock, Nigel and Billingsley, John. 1997. "Carbon dioxide sensing - a mechatronic approach." Werner, B. (ed.) 4th Annual Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice (MViP 1997). Toowoomba, Australia 23 - 25 Sep 1997 Los Alamitos, CA. United States. https://doi.org/10.1109/MMVIP.1997.625292
Methods for assessing dam evaporation - an introductory paper
Craig, Ian and Hancock, Nigel. 2004. "Methods for assessing dam evaporation - an introductory paper." Burnett, Jolyon (ed.) Irrigation Australia 2004: Irrigation Association of Australia National Conference and Exhibition. Adelaide, Australia 11 - 13 May 2004 Hornsby, NSW, Australia.
On-the-go machine vision sensing of cotton plant geometric parameters: first results
McCarthy, Cheryl, Hancock, Nigel and Raine, Steven R.. 2006. "On-the-go machine vision sensing of cotton plant geometric parameters: first results." Billingsley, John (ed.) 13th Annual Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice. (M2VIP 2006). Toowoomba, Australia 05 - 07 Dec 2006 Berlin, Heidelberg.
A preliminary evaluation of machine vision sensing of cotton nodes for automated irrigation control
McCarthy, Cheryl, Hancock, Nigel and Raine, Steven R.. 2006. "A preliminary evaluation of machine vision sensing of cotton nodes for automated irrigation control." Irrigation Australia 2006: Irrigation Association of Australia National Conference and Exhibition. Brisbane, Australia 09 - 11 May 2006 Brisbane.
Development of a CFD based dam evaporation model
Craig, I. P., Mossad, R. and Hancock, N.. 2006. "Development of a CFD based dam evaporation model." 11th International Health Summer School. Brisbane, Australia 21 - 22 Nov 2006 Brisbane, Queensland.
Universal acidity - conductivity relations in commercial bulk starter production
Hancock, N. H., McKinnon, I. and Maxwell, A. D.. 2006. "Universal acidity - conductivity relations in commercial bulk starter production." Australian Journal of Dairy Technology. 61 (2), pp. 189-192.
A scoping study on measuring and monitoring tools and technology for precision irrigation
Misra, R. K., Raine, Steven R., Pezzaniti, David, Charlesworth, Philip and Hancock, Nigel. 2005. A scoping study on measuring and monitoring tools and technology for precision irrigation . Toowoomba, Australia. CRC for Irrigation Futures.